· First Joint Strategy for the Management of Offenders
· Extension of (Joint Agency Response to Crime-the agencies: the Probation Service, the Prison Service and An Garda Síochána) J-ARC initiative to Dundalk, Limerick City and Waterford City
· Emphasis on the management of offenders combined with a strong focus on the rights of victims
22 September 2016
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, has today launched the first Joint Strategy for the Management of Offenders and announced the extension of the joint agency initiative to Dundalk, Limerick City and Waterford City.
The Joint Strategy, drawn up by the Probation Service, the Prison Service and An Garda Síochána, and with the full support of the Department of Justice and Equality, recognises that in order to protect the public and reduce victimisation in Irish society, a joint approach to the management of offenders is essential.
The Joint Strategy sets out a range of agreed key objectives and supporting actions for the enhanced management of offenders, to be advanced on an inter-agency basis in the period 2016-2018. It places particular emphasis on the management of high-volume offenders, sex offenders, perpetrators of domestic violence, combined with a strong focus on the rights and protection of crime victims.
The Tánaiste outlined the overall strategy being to tackle burglary and other property crime, and set out how J-ARC plays a key part in this.
Addressing the launch the Tánaiste said, “Breaking the cycle of offending is essential to reducing crime and protecting the public. A disproportionate amount of property crime, some 75%, is linked to 25% of offenders. Targeting this cohort of repeat offenders has the potential to significantly reduce the number of burglaries being committed. While I believe that prison is the right place for serious and serial offenders, it makes sense to target identified prolific offenders with joint agency initiatives like this one, to address criminal behaviour and the harm it does. In this way, offenders’ behaviour can be changed, crime reduced and public safety increased.
I especially welcome the commitment in the strategy of all three agencies to work together to address the serious consequences of domestic violence in our community, this heinous crime in our community can only be reduced with the dedicated focus outline in the strategy.”
The J-ARC programme (Joint Agency Response to Crime) forms a key part of the strategy and was launched by the Tánaiste last November. The programme currently operates at a number of locations in the Dublin area. It represents a multi-agency approach to the management of crime, whereby specific initiatives are developed to target certain prolific offenders so as to address their behaviour and reduce crime, thereby increasing community safety. Based on the positive experience of the initiatives to date, it is to be rolled out further, initially to three further locations, Dundalk, Limerick City and Waterford City.
Note to Editors:
J-ARC is an inter-agency response to the management and rehabilitation of offenders involving the Probation Service, Irish Prison Service, and the Garda Síochána working in collaboration with statutory, community and voluntary partners. A Joint Protocol was signed on 21 November 2014.
The J-ARC Strategy
This strategy confirms the joint commitment of the Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service to target those recidivist offenders who are responsible for the majority of crime. In order to reduce crime and enhance public safety, the nominated prolific offenders will be managed through the co-ordination and integration of policy, practice and research between the organisations.
- · To develop and further strengthen a multi agency approach to the management of crime;
· To priorities offenders in order to develop initiatives which will address their behaviour;
· To reduce crime and increase public safety in local communities.
Existing initiatives - Acer3 now being extended to Dundalk, Limerick City and Waterford City:
- Ballymun STRIVE – targeting prolific adult offenders within East Ballymun whose offending behaviour is undermining the community’s quality of life. Two year pilot programme.
Bridge Change Works Programme – targeting adult male offenders living in Dublin with a history of violent crime. Two year pilot programme Acer3 – multi agency approach to the management of offenders charged with burglary. Two year pilot programme.