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Home > Irish Prison Service and Probation Service strategic plan 2018–2020.

Guiney, Ciara (2018) Irish Prison Service and Probation Service strategic plan 2018–2020. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 67, Autumn 2018 , pp. 12-13.

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On 25 June 2018, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, launched the joint Irish Prison Service (IPS) and Probation Service (PS) strategic plan for 2018–2020.1 This is the third joint strategy of these agencies. It includes the following actions:

  • Improve sentence management
  • Maximise joint working between IPS and PS
  • Develop responses for female offenders
  • Enhance engagement with victims of crime
  • Develop innovative responses for specific groups of offenders
  • Enhance offender employability
  • Engage with service users
  • Promote research and evaluation
  • Improve provision of drug and alcohol services 

Improve sentence management

With the aim of decreasing recidivism, programmes will continue to be established and delivered in prison. It is hoped that this will increase offender engagement, resettlement and reintegration into society, and stability on release from prison leading to less re-offending and safer communities.

 

Maximise joint working between IPS and PS

To enhance collaborative working between agencies, improvements to systems will continue. This will involve the establishment of service level agreements identifying the role of the PS in sentence management and reintegration, and improvements on how data will be captured. Joint development of interventions will continue along with joint training to promote collaboration and shared learning. In addition, the IPS psychology service will assign a psychologist to PS headquarters to consult on cases, programme development, assessment, and to assist in training.

 

Develop responses for female offenders

The IPS and PS intend to build on current gender-informed approaches, broaden opportunities, and target through-care and resettlement into society. This work will be informed by joint research and best evidence-based practice on female offending and custodial trends. Interventions will aim to increase recovery and provide education and training. To help women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse, perpetrators of these crimes will continue to be targeted.

 

Enhance engagement with victims of crime

In line with current legislative requirements for victims of crime,2,3 the IPS and PS will develop and apply procedures on engaging with victims of crime. Existing information and how it is accessed will be reviewed. The provision and response to restorative justice intervention requests will follow existing practices. Written submissions to the Parole Board by victims will also be facilitated. Further victim engagement will be informed by evaluations of existing practices and procedures.

 

Develop innovative responses for specific groups of offenders

Drawing on evidence-based best practice, the IPS and PS will collaborate to increase engagement with specific groups of offenders, such as sexual and violent offenders, young adults aged 18–24 years, older adults, and the Traveller community. Several actions will be taken, for example:

The Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (SORAM) will be fully implemented in prisons.

The Building Better Lives (BBL) programme for sexual violence will be established in the Midlands Prison and Arbour Hill Prison.

Young adults sentence planning and community reintegration will continue to progress.

Work will continue to increase engagement and interventions with offenders who are mentally unwell, members of the Traveller community, and perpetrators of domestic violence.

 

Enhance offender employability

The IPS and PS will collaborate to maintain and increase employment opportunities for ex-offenders. For example, the social enterprise strategy, A new way forward,4 will be implemented. In addition, greater emphasis will be placed on employment outcomes for GATE (Gaining Access to Training, Education and Employment) and Linkage services provided by the Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders. The IPS and PS will also work with Intreo services of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to establish joint procedures to make certain the move from training to employment goes smoothly.

 

Engage with service users

The intention is to enhance service delivery by working with service users and organisations to make peer-led opportunities available. For example, a joint service level agreement will be established between the IPS/PS and the Irish Red Cross to increase community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) programmes in prisons and the community and widen the curriculum to help reduce recidivism. Rehabilitation programmes will also be facilitated by the IPS and PS for female ex-offenders that have participated in the BRIO programme.

 

Promote research and evaluation

To ensure that the work undertaken by the IPS and PS is informed by evidence-based practice, research and evaluation will be encouraged in several areas; for example, working with female offenders, life-sentenced prisoners, provision of rehabilitative interventions, desistence from offending, and the impact of the CBHFA programme. Research in these areas will increase knowledge and enhance opportunities to stop and prevent crime.

 

Improve provision of drug and alcohol services

The IPS and PS will jointly increase drug and alcohol service provision in prisons and the community. Their actions will be guided by the recommendations of the Review of drug and alcohol treatment and the current national drugs and alcohol strategy, Reducing harm, supporting recovery.5,6

 

Conclusion

This strategy was welcomed by the Minister for Justice and Equality, who stated that:

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.7

An integrated approach is viewed by the minister as an essential component for the effective reintegration of offenders into the community and society.7

 

 

1  Irish Prison Service and Probation Service (2018) Irish Prison Service & Probation Service: strategic plan 2018–2020. Dublin: Irish Prison Service and Probation Service. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/29241/

2  Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017. Available online at: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2017/act/28/enacted/en/html

3  European Commission (2012) Directive 2012/29/EU. Available online at: https://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/legislation-and-case-law-eu-legislation-criminal-law/directive-201229eu_en

4  Irish Prison Service and Probation Service (2017) ‘A new way forward’: social enterprise strategy 2017–2019. Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/27287/

5  Clarke A and Eustace A (2016) Review of drug and alcohol treatment services for adult offenders in prison and in the community. Dublin: Probation Service and Irish Prison Service. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/26569/

6  Department of Health (2017) Reducing harm, supporting recovery: a health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017–2025. Dublin: Department of Health. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/27603/

7 Department of Justice and Equality (2018) 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. Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality. Available online at: https://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PR18000207

Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
Issue Title
Issue 67, Autumn 2018
Date
November 2018
Page Range
pp. 12-13
Publisher
Health Research Board
Volume
Issue 67, Autumn 2018
EndNote

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