Minister Flanagan welcomes appointment of new Director of the Probation Service
19 June 2020
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, today welcomed the appointment of Mark Wilson as Director of the Probation Service following an open competition conducted by the Public Appointments Service. Mark Wilson succeeds Vivian Geiran, who retired last December having worked in the Probation Service for over 30 years and giving distinguished service as Director for over 7 years.
Minister Flanagan said:
“The work of the Probation Service is vital. By supporting offenders to turn away from committing further crime, it protects the public and creates safer communities. I would like to congratulate Mark Wilson on his appointment. I know that he will bring his extensive experience and skills to bear and make further improvements to the Service, in partnership with others in the criminal justice sector. This partnership and cross-agency approach is critical and underpins the Joint Agency Response to as well as more generally the Action Plan for the Management of Offenders (2019-2021)”
Minister Flanagan added:
“I wish to thank Ita Burke for serving as interim Director since earlier this year.
I must also sincerely thank former Director Vivian Geiran for his dedicated service. He has made a real contribution to Irish public life - during his time as Director, the Probation Service made great strides in the development of effective frameworks for the management of offenders and countless offenders have been supported to begin a better life. I congratulate Vivian and wish him well in his retirement.”
The newly appointed Director, Mark Wilson, said:
“I am deeply honoured to take up the position of Director of the Probation Service. I know how effective community sanctions can be, to reduce crime and help rebuild lives. I look forward to working closely with the team in the Probation Service to deliver on our mandate and contribute to the broader work of the Department of Justice and Equality in creating a safe, fair and inclusive Ireland.
I am particularly interested in the need to strengthen the joint approach to offender management and community safety, across the criminal justice system. This is an area on which I will particularly concentrate, along with my new team.”
Mr. Wilson will take up his new position on 20 July next.
Notes for Editors
Information on the work of the Probation Service is available on its website http://probation.ie/
Mark Wilson biography
A qualified social worker, Mark Wilson has previously held positions in the Irish Prison Service (as Deputy Director of Operations) and in the Probation Service. During his earlier periods in the Probation Service, he contributed to the setting up of both the Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (SORAM) and the Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC) models of joint offender management. Most recently he has served as a Principal Officer in the Department of Justice and Equality International Protection Accommodation Service.
Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC)
The Joint Agency Response to Crime (‘JARC’) is a strategic multi-agency initiative involving an intensive, collaborative approach to the supervision and rehabilitation of prolific repeat offenders.
Under this model, An Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service, with the active support of the Department of Justice and Equality and in partnership with other State bodies and community-based organisations, work together to steer recidivist offenders away from criminality.
An operational team of frontline Gardaí, probation officers and prison officers work closely with selected prolific offenders to address the factors behind their offending and direct them away from criminality.
In December 2019, the Action Plan for the Joint Management of Offenders (2019-2021) was published. This Action Plan was agreed by the Department of Justice and Equality, the Probation Service, the Irish Prison Service and An Garda Síochána. It is intended as a framework to further develop the productive partnership which the organisations have built through the Joint Strategy on the Management of Offenders (2016-18) and underlying initiatives, such as the Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC) and the Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (SORAM) programmes. It aims to enhance community safety through collaborative management of priority offenders.