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Home > The Probation Service annual report 2017.

Probation Service. (2018) The Probation Service annual report 2017. Dublin: Probation Service.

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The Probation Service is an agency of the Department of Justice and Equality, committed to working to reduce offending, create safer communities and fewer victims through offender rehabilitation. While the Service has a national remit, services are delivered locally by staff based in our thirty-five community based offices. We provide a range of effective sentencing options to the courts, at all levels, nationwide. The Service also supports the sentence-management and rehabilitation of offenders in custody, with staff based in each of the custodial institutions.

The Probation Service contributes to public safety by:
• Ensuring court orders are implemented,
• Reducing the likelihood of re-offending,
• Reducing the risk of harm to the public,
• Making good the harm done by crime, (Reparation and Restorative Justice)
• Facilitating the re-integration of ex-offenders into the community.

Responding effectively to service user needs
Many offenders under our supervision have complex needs such as alcohol or drug problems, literacy issues, and social skills deficits. These offenders require a broad range of support and assistance in the community if they are to make better choices for themselves, their families, and their communities. These factors are taken into account in how we organise and deliver services. In responding to the identified correlation between substance misuse and offending, as part of our assessment and supervision of offenders in 2017, we continued to roll out the SAOR (screening, brief intervention and referral approach) model for working with service users presenting with substance misuse issues. We also delivered targeted individual and group work programmes addressing substance misuse issues. As part of the Probation Service’s commitments under the National Drug Strategy, Reducing Harm/Supporting Recovery, (2017-2025), launched in July 2017 and detailed in the Probation Service Substance Misuse Strategy 2017-2018, the Service identified a number of measures to support and develop probation practice in the area of substance misuse. This includes the on-going identification and delivery of evidence informed interventions and further up skilling of staff, as well as promoting greater interagency co-operation to facilitate referral pathways.

Consideration of mental health issues is an on-going concern for Probation Officers in their work with our service users. Mental health issues may have a direct or indirect link with offending as well as impacting on our capacity to intervene effectively with service users. Recognising this, in 2017, the Service committed to strengthening mental health awareness in our work with offenders. This included awareness-raising for Probation Officers in relation to mental illness, personality disorder and indicators of risk of self-harm/suicide. This work will be further developed in 2018.


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