In February 2022 Sonia started working as a Deputy Director in the Probation Workforce Programme and will be leading on Learning and Development and Professional Registration for Probation Officers.
Before that, Sonia was the Chief Probation Officer in His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service from 2016. In this role, Sonia was responsible for the operational management of the Probation Service in England and Wales, a service employing around 17,000 staff working in 12 regions. Sonia was also responsible for the National Security Division which manages the highest risk offenders including those with terrorist offences.
Sonia holds the lead within HMPPS for Faith issues and for Service User Involvement. She is also very interested in Probation Learning and Development. As the first person to hold the title Chief Probation Officer and head of the profession, Sonia is passionate about the professionalisation of Probation.
Sonia started her career as a Probation Officer in 1988 based in South London, moving to Kent Probation in 1991. Over the next 30 years, Sonia has undertaken a range of roles across Probation. In 2005 she was seconded to the Home Office and subsequently to the Ministry of Justice as part of the national performance improvement team.
Sonia was Chief Officer of Sussex Probation Area and in 2010 following the merger with Surrey, formed the Surrey & Sussex Probation Trust (SSPT) as the Chief Executive Officer. Her next move took her to London Probation Trust (the largest Probation Trust) as Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Service Director) responsible for the strategic operational leadership and performance across the 32 London Boroughs.
With the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms in 2014 which created the National Probation Service Sonia became the Deputy Director, National Probation Service, South East and Eastern Division.
Sonia is a Board member of the Confederation of European Probation (CEP) since 2019.
Sonia was recognised for her contribution to Probation and maintaining probation services during a national crisis with the award of a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in January 2021.