The Probation Service Annual Report for 2015 has been published. The report records a fall in reoffending rates outlined in the CSO reports in December 2015. Recidivism rates fell from 41% to 37.3%, and 70% of female prisoners engaged with the Probation Service did not reoffend.
The report outlines the work done by the Probation Service, including community sanctions and working with offenders to address the underlying issues which led to the sanction. The Joint Strategic Plan of the Probation Service and the Irish Prison Service focuses on rehabilitation and reintegration.
The importance of the use of community service as an alternative to imprisonment is outlined. The cost-effectiveness of this alternative is stressed in this report. Community service further provides benefit to the community and allows offenders to develop new skills. This extends to young offenders, with the YPP programmes. There was a 5.9% drop in reoffending for those on community service orders compared to 2008, according to the CSO.
The report also describes the Service's engagement with victims of crime, and the importance of rehabilitation to ensure that fewer people are victimised in the future.