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O'r galon

O'r Galon: Ar Brawf

Behind-the-scenes with a probation officer

S4C documentary Ar Brawf (On Probation) this week gives us exclusive access to the life of a probation officer in the Llanelli area.

The programme, part of the O'r Galon (From the Heart) series, follows probation officer Lowri Thomas over a period of a week. It's the first behind-the-scenes documentary about the Probation Service in Wales.

Supervision

Twenty-five-year-old Lowri has been working for the Dyfed Powys Probation Trust for three years. She's one of a team of officers who deal with a range of issues such as alcohol misuse, sex working, violence and drug misuse.

One of her duties is to supervise offenders who have been given community service orders, such as Anthony, who we'll see in the programme, one of 30 offenders in Lowri's care.

Change a way of life

We'll see Lowri at work in a Day Centre for offenders with alcohol and drug problems.

"We're trying to change their way of life, and beat their dependence," explains Lowri. "It's challenging work which can be quite chaotic at times because of the failure of those who are dependant to concentrate for long periods."

Another aspect of Lowri's work is visiting offenders in prison to prepare them for release. She travels on a regular basis to prisons in Cardiff, Newport and over the border in England.

She admits the job can be stressful at times. "But you have to have faith that people can change, with the right help."

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