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In London the CRC staff have been told not to use face to face interpreters any more, only telephone interpreters are allowed. That is all there is money for we're told. In the past I have had a number of DV cases with no BBR on their order because of language issues where the expectation was that I do 1-1 work with them. I would never used a telephone interpreting service for such complex emotional work. I would need an interpreter present in the room, preferably the same one for all the sessions and this is how I have managed so far with those cases. If I were to be allocated a language case now with no access to a proper interpreting service I am quite sure I would not be able to work with the case. What have others' experience been of such situations? Any opinions on the subject?
This is where we are, If anybody had told me in 1992 that we would get here l would not have believed it. What we do is try and find a way.
It gets worse each and every day. On a side note our office was closed we were told those in financial hardship would get bus tokens to facilitate travel. That was a lie. The CRC has saved a fortune in office closures yet no additional bus tokens.
As for the issue you raise I think it is a disgrace. I remember when LPT brought in language line I tired it once. 20 minutes wasted as I was given the wrong pin and information no pre brief with the person on the phone and no debrief after as you have to escort the offender out. Interpretors (I'd usually book the same person each time) builds a rapport with both client and offender and now this is lost but hey phone supervision is now a thing. Why not bring in automated probation services press 1 for next appointment press 2 for...
I wonder what they do with all that extra money they got from the MoJ recently. We should ask them.
It's daft enough when you're in the same room with them cos you have no idea what they're saying ..however at least you have body language etc trouble is you have so many now that it encroaches on funding ....so yes..pass go and collect 200pounds ..it's all part of the game now.
This is dreadful. And quite discriminatory.
This puts more victims at further risk, some communities are very close and small and we cannot oversee what's happening via telephone.
I'm in a rural area - offenders in outlying villages can have to travel 6/7 miles to the nearest town then 17 miles to the office. If they work they cannot do programmes as they cannot get home!! Bus services being quite limited. They pay first £3.50 then get tokens!
Ok so everyone is responsible for their own actions and have to accept the consequences for those decisions that's life as we know it. That's why we had law and order. But profiteering from human misery, wasn't that called slavery a couple hundred years ago.
But if you book a telephone service, and explain to the interpreter what it is for and that you need them on a weekly basis for so many weeks they may be able to accommodate that with the single interpreter. You don't know until you try. Also CRC London are not alone in this, NPS are being encouraged to use Telephone Interpreting rather than face to face - much to my officers dismay as they would prefer to have someone with them too.
CRC staff are being told we're not allowed face to face interpreters. "Discouragement " is something milder I think, something that can be changed by negotiation. My big beef with this is that much important communication is lost when we are not face to face with the people we are speaking to. And this is being insisted on in a situation when good communication is already hampered by language and possibly cultural differences. English is not my first language. I have experienced for myself the myriad possibilities for misunderstanding and miscommunication and have felt their impact. Let us at least do our utmost to overcome this by insisting on the very best tools for the job rather than do the job badly and fail our service users and their victims.
I know, but I am hamstrung from saying what I really think.....
It is a shame that it should feel so risky to raise reasoned debate over essential practice issues. Surely it should be in everyone's interest to get these things right. Even the MoJ ought to be cool with investments which reduce risk of reoffending and thereby the cost of imprisonment. And if they're not then it becomes a moral choice for us to speak up.
Your PSR authors need to be making it clear to the Courts that this is happening. It's likely to lead to more people going to prison because the intervention in the community will no longer be of sufficient quality to mitigate risk.
Neither is prison of sufficient quality.
Indeed but the calculus will be that if nothing effective can be done in either case then prison, though more expensive, will at least take the DV perps off the street and mitigate the risk of absconsion, further offending etc. Mad world - so glad I left early, must be very disheartening for those like yourself who have put a lifetime of dedication into doing excellent work.
We were told that we needed to use telephone interpreters a couple of years ago (I'm NPS). I found a lot depended on the interpreter you got and, on at least one occasion, the interpreter rang off in the middle of the interview, once it became apparent what was being discussed. I didn't have the opportunity to talk to her about it beforehand with the service we were using as we were just put straight through to the interpreter. We're now using face to face interpreters again although this can also be hit and miss. I agree it's discriminatory and doesn't provide the service the Courts have the right to expect of probation in any way, shape or form.
We have used telephone interpreters quite a lot in our office, we have use of a room and conference calling facilities. I have built up a good rapport with some interpreters and between the three of us, we get good communication going, a mix of English and the clients language all mixed in. Because of the use of the telephone you tend to watch non verbal body language more which is interesting. Despite this positive experience, we know that the work we do in this way is limited as much gets lost in translation, but you can only do the best you can I guess. x
Verbal exchange is just 30% of human interaction. You can't do your job.