Social enquiry reports (SERs) are
formal documents prepared by the Probation and Aftercare Service on personal,
family and social circumstances of persons with the aim of helping the
soliciting agency to take a decision with regard to these persons.
SERs are prepared for diverse
agencies namely the District, Intermediate and Supreme Courts, Solicitor
General’s Office, Director of Public Prosecutions Office, Commission on The
Prerogative of Mercy, Prime Minister’s Office, Parole Board, Rehabilitation and
Correctional Youth Centre Visiting Boards, Probation Home and Hostel, National
Adoption Council, SACIM, International Social Service etc. These reports can generally be classified as
criminal and civil social enquiry reports.
SERs which are requested by criminal courts are mainly of two types:
Pre-sentence Reports (PSRs) and Community Service Reports (CSRs). While PSRs are prepared on any offender
referred by courts to the Probation Service, CSRs are specific to those
offenders who are referred for consideration as to their suitability to be accorded
community service orders (to perform unpaid work in the community).
SERs pertain to such matters as custody of children, right of visit, ‘droit
d’hebergement’, adoption, guardianship, deprivation of parental authority
etc. These reports are prepared for the
Supreme Court, the Solicitor General’s Office and other agencies.
The guiding principles underlying
the preparation of SERs are:
Protection of human rights
Where children are involved, such
principles as the ‘best interests of the child’ and ‘least detrimental
alternative’ are always adhered to.
· SUPERVISION AND REHABILITATIONDepending
on factors such as seriousness of the offence, criminal history of
the offender, any mitigating circumtances relating to the offence
etc., criminal courts can impose custodial and non-custodial sentences
on offenders. Custodial sentences are imprisonment and committal orders
to the Rehabilitation and Correctional Youth Centres. Non-custodial
sentences may be any of the following: Absolute or conditional discharge Community service orders Probation orders Suspended order for drug detoxification FinesThe
Probation and Aftercare Services is concerned mainly with community
service orders and probation orders whereby offenders granted such
orders remain under the supervision of Probation Officers until the
expiry of the orders. Non-compliance with the conditions of these orders
may entail breach procedures.
The probation and Aftercare Service also supervises offenders and other persons under the
system of throughcare, aftercare and parole. Throughcare and aftercare are schemes applicable
to juveniles only.
is a continuum of care given to juveniles from the point of sentence/commitment
to the point of their release from detention; the Probation Officer acts as a
link between the detained juveniles and their families/community. Throughcare has no statutory status but is a well-established
practice within the Rehabilitation Youth Centre and the Probation Institutions.
is accorded to juvenile offenders who have been released in the community from
the RYC/CYC until the expiry of their orders.
The juveniles remain under the supervision of Probation Officers and if they
breach any of the conditions imposed upon them, their aftercare orders may be
revoked following which they will have to be brought back into the reform
is aftercare applicable to adult prisoners.
It is a system whereby prisoners are conditionally released in the
community under the supervision of a Probation Officer prior to the expiry of
their sentence. Any breach of the parole
conditions may entail the revocation of the licence.
An Attendance Centre is run by
the Probation and Aftercare Service in collaboration with other agencies for
imparting pro-social skills to selected offenders and other persons. The aim is to educate and reform them. Currently, three centres are in operation and
the programme delivered comprises the following modules:
and victim awareness
of culture and prosocial values
problem-solving and goal-setting
of family ties
and behaviour disorder
and stress management
Institutional care is provided to
juveniles with mild antisocial behaviour and whose home surroundings are not
conducive for their proper development.
Two semi-open residential institutions viz. the Probation Hostel for
Boys and the Probation Home for Girls, both located in Curepipe, operate along
a family model and offer diverse activities for the rehabilitation of the
juveniles. Each institution is managed
by a Committee.
mediation are carried out with parties involved in marital, family and other
social problems. People in conflict or
seeking advice either come by themselves or are referred by other agencies to
the regional Probation Offices. The
Probation Officer acts as a counsellor or a mediator, helping in the
therapeutic resolution of problems.
Preventive work consists of
delivery of talks in the community to all categories of people including
students, women and elderly people.
Social issues such as juvenile delinquency, interpersonal relationships,
adolescent sexuality, drug addiction, stress and anger etc. are addressed.