Inspectorate makes recommendations to improve PBNI risk management and governance

An inspection report on probation practice has made 11 recommendations to improve the Probation Board for Northern Ireland’s (PBNI’s)  governance arrangements and deliver better services and outcomes.
“The work of the PBNI is central to making our community a safer place and this inspection looked at how they do that,” said CJI Chief Inspector Jacqui Durkin.

“During this inspection CJI worked in partnership with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation and as part of our fieldwork, we were joined by four PBNI Area Managers who trained as assessors to take part in a case file review sample of 84 cases to assess how the PBNI supported and supervised those men and women who were on probation.

“We found many examples of effective practice but we also found that sometimes Probation Officers needed to improve their professional curiosity, how they identified and evaluated risk, acted on this information and recorded what they did.

“The PBNI has been through a period of significant change and Inspectors found that despite their efforts senior management had made to keep all staff engaged, some members of their team told Inspectors they did not feel valued or listened to,” said Ms Durkin.

“In this inspection report we have made recommendations to support the PBNI to address these important issues and set timeframes in which we believe this work should commence.  Inspectors have also recommended that the Department of Justice should review its governance arrangements, founding legislation and status including reviewing the size of its corporate Board.”

The Chief Inspector said the inspection had found the PBNI to be an organisation that worked well with other criminal justice partners to deliver innovative projects and service improvements.

“I welcome the PBNI’s commitment to continue to learn and grow as an organisation.   One of its organisational values is recognising people’s capacity to change and this as true for the organisation as it is for those men and women who use its services.  I welcome the PBNI’s acceptance of the inspection recommendations and look forward to seeing their implementation in the future,” concluded Ms Durkin.