Minister Flanagan publishes the Probation Service Strategy 2018-2020: “One Vision, One Team, One Standard”, the third Probation Service and Irish Prisons Service Joint Strategic Plan 2018 – 2020 and the Probation Service and Irish Prison Service Annual Reports 2017
25 June 2018
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, today published the Annual Reports of the Probation Service and Irish Prison Service together with the Joint Irish Prison Service / Probation Service Strategic Plan 2018-2020, and the Probation Service Strategic Plan 2018-2020.
Welcoming the plans, the Minister said that “it is imperative that agencies such as the Prison Service and Probation Service have effective interventions and programmes in place that work in tackling the problems of offenders, and reduce reoffending and victimisation”.
All the agencies working in the criminal justice system share the goal of helping to create a safer, fairer and more inclusive Ireland. Interagency co-operation between the justice partners, has a significant contribution in making our streets, homes, businesses and communities more secure.
The Minister referred in particular to the Joint Irish Prison Service/Probation Service Strategic Plan 2018-2020, the third joint strategy between these agencies. He said “this is an excellent example of agencies working together. The Strategic Objective of the Plan is to have a multi-agency approach to offender management and rehabilitation from pre to post imprisonment in order to reduce re-offending and improve prisoner outcomes.” The successful resettlement of offenders demands an integrated approach. The Strategy sets out an ambitious set of actions to achieve improved outcomes to the benefit of Irish society. The Strategy identifies 9 strategic actions:
- Improve Service Management
- Maximise joint working between the Irish Prison Service and Probation Service
- Develop a range of responses for female offenders
- Enhance engagement with victims of crime
- Develop innovative responses for specific groups of offenders
- Enhance the employability of offenders
- Engaging Service users
- Promoting research and evaluation
- Improve the provision of Drug & Alcohol Services in Prison and the community.
The Minister also referred to the Probation Service Strategy 2018-2020 and
commented, “The Strategy provides a clear programme of work for the Service, promoting evidence informed practice, and a commitment to continuous improvement in the organisation.”
The Minister also published the Probation Service Annual Report 2017 and the Irish Prison Service Annual Report 2017 which set out the key achievements by both agencies during 2017.
Note for editors
Probation Service Strategic Plan 2018-2020”One Vision, One Team, One Standard”
The Strategy follows on from the previous Strategy (2015-2017). It builds on achievements to date and identifies 5 interconnected strategic goals, each of which has 6 Strategic Objectives and which set out a clear programme of work. Progress on these will be outlined in the Annual Reports.
Key statistics from Prison Service Annual Report (excluding fines)
· numbers committed under sentence has increased by 52 or 1.4% from 3,724 in 2016 to 3,776 in 2017.
· numbers committed under sentence of < 3 months has decreased by 8 or 1.7% from 468 in 2016 to 460 in 2017.
· numbers committed under sentence of 3 to < 6 months has increased by 245 or 23.3% from 1,050 in 2016 to 1,295 in 2017.
· numbers committed under sentence of 6 to < 12 months has decreased by 155 or 14.9% from 1,039 in 2016 to 884 in 2017.
· numbers committed on sentences of 1 to < 2 years has increased by 51 or 17.3% from 295 in 2016 to 346 in 2017.
· numbers committed on sentences of 2 to < 3 years has increased by 9 or 3.1% from 290 in 2016 to 299 in 2017.
· numbers committed on sentences of 3 to less than 5 years has decreased by 68 or 19.8% in 2016 to 276 in 2017.
· numbers committed on sentences of 5 to less than 10 years has decreased by 16 or 8.7% in 2016 to 167 in 2017.
· numbers committed on sentences of 10 years plus has decreased by 12 or 31% in 2016 to 27 in 2017.
· numbers committed on a Life sentence has increased by 6 or 37.5% in 2016 to 22 in 2017.
Key statistics from Probation Service Annual Report
· The Probation Service dealt with over 15,000 offenders in the community and 2,930 offenders in prison.
· There were 2,215 Community Service Orders made in 2017 compared with 2,067 in 2016.
· The 336,573 hours of community service performed in 2017 amounts to an alternative of 973 years of custodial sentencing.
· The Community Return Scheme has a compliance rate of almost 90%.
· 206 prisoners completed the Community Return Scheme in 2017.
· The Probation Service completed 13,722 reports for Court in 2017.
· The Probation Service provided 27 Victim Impact Reports in 2017.
· The majority of new referrals to the Probation Service were 18-24 year olds (2,604) and 25-34 year olds (3,109).
· 16.1% of all new referrals were female (16.6% in 2016, 15.2% in 2015 and 14.8% in 2014).
· The Probation Service supervised 572 juvenile offenders in 2017.