The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter TD, today 15 August published the Probation Service Annual Report for 2011. Speaking on its publication, Minister Shatter said, "It is clear from the 2011 Annual Report that the Probation Service continues to provide an effective alternative to custody for our Courts. "

The Report shows that there was a 40% increase in the number of Community Service Orders made (2,738 in 2011 up from 1,972 in 2010) with 795 same day Community Service Reports made. There was a 39% increase in the total number of Community Service hours ordered in lieu of custody (420,836 in 2011 from 303,210 in 2010) and a 17% increase in the total number of years that would have been served (1,035 in 2011 from 882 in 2010).

Minister Shatter added, "It can be seen that many Probation interventions provide an opportunity for offenders to repair the harm done in their community by their offending behaviour. I am particularly pleased to see an increase in the use of community service. The Criminal Justice (Community Service) (Amendment) Act 2011 enacted in July 2011 and commenced on 1 October 2011, requires judges when considering imposing a sentence of imprisonment of 12 months or less to first consider the appropriateness of community service as an alternative to imprisonment. Community Service benefits local communities, reduces public expenditure on prison services and requires convicted offenders to make recompense for their crimes. The Service will continue to have my full support in making greater use of community service as an alternative to imprisonment." 

The Minister also announced the appointment of Mr Vivian Geiran as the new Director of the Probation Service with effect from 8 August, 2012.

Mr Geiran was selected for appointment following an open competition run by the Public Appointments Service. He replaces Mr Michael Donnellan who was appointed to the post of Director General of the Irish Prison Service in November 2011. Mr Geiran is currently Director of Operations in the Probation Service where he has worked for the past twenty five years.

Announcing the appointment Minister Shatter said, "I am looking forward to continuing the excellent working relationship with the Probation Service with Mr Geiran as Director. He brings a wealth of experience to the job which has been gained from his previous roles in an organisation that has wholeheartedly embraced change and adapted to the range of challenges that have faced it in modern times."

The Report is available on the Department’s website at www.justice.ie

15 August 2012

ENDS

Note for Editors 

Vivian Geiran is currently Director of Operations in the Probation Service. He is a professionally qualified social worker, joined the Probation Service twenty-five years ago as a Probation Officer, and has held a variety of positions in the organisation since, up to and including his present position, to which he was promoted six years ago. His academic qualifications include masters degrees in social studies and social work, and a diploma in leadership and management.

Examples of Community Service include the following: graffiti removal in co-operation with Local Authorities; painting / decorating / cleaning / grounds maintenance with voluntary sector agencies, schools, churches and hospitals; environmental cleaning and landscaping with the Tidy Towns; landscaping and grounds maintenance in estates and parklands in association with County Councils; clean up of shorefront and beaches; cemetery maintenance; creation of school gardens; meals on wheels and food preparation in association with charitable organisations and repair / recycling of medical equipment.