In the Courts and Community
Each year, we do around 8,000 assessments on offenders which assist judges in making decisions in criminal cases.
There are two types of offender assessment report.
- Pre-Sanction Report (PSR) These are also known as ‘probation reports.’ They assess suitability for a community sanction and issues relevant to reducing offending. Further detail on Pre-Sanction Reports is available on our Offender Assessment page.
- Community Service Report (CSR) These reports are to assess suitability of an offender to do unpaid work in the community instead of going to prison. Further detail on Community Service Reports is available on our Offender Assessment page.
We also prepare victim reports for the courts when required. These reports assess the impact of offending on victims of crime (usually violent crime) and assist the Judge in deciding how to deal with the case. Further detail on what the Probation and Welfare Service do to support victims of crime can be found on our Communities & Victims page.
We supervise offenders on probation supervision and Community Service Orders:
- Probation Supervision - This is where the offender must remain under the supervision of the probation officer for a period of time decided by the court. Sometimes the court also includes extra conditions of supervision, aimed at reducing the risk of re-offending, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. Further detail on Probation Orders can be found in our Offender Supervision page.
- Community Service Orders - This is where the court orders an offender to do unpaid work (40 to 240 hours) in the community to repay the damage done by their offending. This is always a direct alternative to a prison sentence. Further detail on Community Service Orders can be found in the Community Service section of the website.
As well as offenders placed on supervision directly by the courts, we supervise offenders on different types of post-custody supervision, where they serve a prison sentence first, followed by supervision in the community. These include:
- Supervised Temporary Release. This is where an offender is supervised by the Probation and Welfare Service on early release from prison. Further detail on Supervised Temporary Release can be found in our Offender Supervision page.
- Post-Release Supervision of sex offenders. These Orders are made under the Sex Offenders Act, 2001, and involve a period of supervision, following release from prison. Further detail on Post Release Supervision Orders can be found in our Probation Work & Research page.
- Conditional Suspended Sentences. This is a suspended (or partially suspended) sentence, with a condition of probation supervision. Further detail on Conditional Suspended Sentences can be found in our Offender Supervision page.
- Supervision of Community Sanctions involving young persons. Young Persons Probation (YPP) is a specialised division of the Probation Service established to work with children and young people aged 12-18 years who come before the Courts or who are in the Children Detention Schools/Centre. The Probation Service are involved in the supervision of a number of the community sanctions available under the Children Act, 2001. Further detail can be found in our Young Persons Probation section