Probation Service and the Irish Criminal Justice System
Our Role within the Irish Criminal Justice System
The Probation Service is an agency of the Department of Justice and Equality. We are sometimes involved in the Criminal Justice Process between the prosecution and trial phase, for example when a court requires a Probation Officer to hold a family conference. More often, we become involved in the criminal justice process between the trial and sanction phases, often in cases where a trial court requires a pre-sanction assessment and report to assist in deciding on an appropriate sanction. In some cases, the court may be considering placing an offender on probation supervision or community service.
Where the court decides on a community based sanction, we are responsible for managing the sanction and supervising the offender. We help offenders to become better citizens and make good the harm done by crime. We also undertake whatever steps are appropriate to reduce the risk of future harm or re-offending by the offender.
We have an important role in planning and preparing for the release of prisoners and their return to the community. We also supervise some offenders after their release from prison. This particular role is focused on reintegrating the offender in society, with the priority of protecting the public and reducing the risk of re-offending.
We work closely with the other agencies of the criminal justice system, as illustrated in the diagram below, to reduce crime and make communities safer.
The Probation Service co-operates with criminal justice agencies in other jurisdictions, especially in cases where offenders move between countries.
We also work closely with a wide range of other partner departments and agencies, including those in the statutory, voluntary and community sectors, to achieve our mutual goals of building a better and safer society.