Working together for a better justice system
News and Events > Press Releases > 2010 > January - March > ‘Community Service helping offenders to make a positive contribution to the community’: Report
News and Events
Latest News Latest News
Press Releases Press Releases
     2016 2016
     2015 2015
     2014 2014
     2013 2013
     2012 2012
     2011 2011
     2010 2010
          October - December October - December
          July - September July - September
          April - June April - June
          January - March January - March
     2009 2009
     2008 2008
     2007 2007
     2006 2006
     2005 2005
     2004 2004
Speeches and Presentations Speeches and Presentations
Events Events
CJI News Archive CJI News Archive
Photograph Library Photograph Library

‘Community Service helping offenders to make a positive contribution to the community’: Report


‘Community Service helping offenders to make a positive contribution to the community’: Report

10/03/2010
An inspection of the Community Service schemes operated by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) has recognised the positive contribution they are making to the community.

The findings of the inspection published today (10 March 2010) by Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI), found the work being undertaken by offenders participating in the schemes was socially useful and of benefit to community.
 
“Inspectors found that Community Service offered several acknowledged benefits. Reconviction rates were found to be comparatively low in comparison with other disposals and its use avoided putting additional pressure on the prison system,” said Dr Michael Maguire, Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland.
 
“In addition, the beneficiaries of the unpaid work- which could range from local charities and church groups to community development organisations, resource centres and individuals who were unable to undertake or pay for the work themselves - were generally satisfied with the work undertaken,” he said.
 
Dr Maguire said that Inspectors had found there were no evident concerns about public safety or undue risks associated with the community services schemes. In addition, practice was shown to be consistent between both urban and rural areas.
 
“This inspection found the PBNI’s Community Services schemes were well managed against the Northern Ireland Standards and Service Requirements which are used to assess practice standards,” added the Chief Inspector.
 
In an effort to further strengthen PBNI’s management of Community Service schemes, Dr Maguire revealed CJI Inspectors had made 15 recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness of the schemes.
 
“We have urged the PBNI to develop an action plan to improve the number of offenders commencing work within its 10-day target of when a community service Order is made. 
 
“This action plan should also seek to improve the average number of hours worked by offenders and the number of individuals fully complying with their Order,” he said.
 
The Chief Inspector concluded by noting that the PBNI were already aware of these recommendations and the others made by the Inspectorate in its report and was working to address the issues raised.


Top of Page