She trained as a probation officer at Green-Templeton College Oxford, qualifying in 1982.
Mrs Guilbert first joined the service as a probation officer in 1997 and, drawing on her own work with Victim Support in England, supported the creation of a victim support scheme locally, which was founded in 1998.
Following promotion to senior probation officer in 1999, Mrs Guilbert had primary responsibility for setting up probation services in the prison. Two years later, she was appointed to the position of chief probation officer.
‘Probation has changed immensely in the last two decades. Notably, Community Service began in 2009, and there have been big changes in working with offenders convicted of sexual offences, and domestic abuse perpetrators,’ said Mrs Guilbert.
Together with colleagues from the Police, Education and Children’s Services, Mrs Guilbert was a driving force in setting up a local domestic abuse forum, which developed into the charity Options and later into Safer, the domestic abuse charity.
‘Looking back over my time at probation, I really feel my main achievement has been the development of a highly respected and professional team of probation staff.
‘We have focused on training local candidates to be probation officers and these professionals have really added to the strength of the service,’ she said.
‘My role has been varied, at times challenging, but always rewarding. I have had the immense privilege and pleasure of working with utterly fantastic, dedicated and hard-working colleagues who make an extremely valuable contribution to the criminal justice system.
‘The changes in how probation delivers its services since I started have been significant. I have loved my career and will retire with fond memories of all the amazing colleagues I have worked with over the years.’