Crime reoffending figures support need for frontline staff

Thursday November 20th 2012

The Probation Branch of IMPACT trade union today (Tuesday) said that figures on criminals reoffending published yesterday (Monday) stand up well to international comparisons and demonstrate the need for frontline services to be supported in delivering safer communities.

IMPACT Probation Branch chair Darren Broomfield said: “Since 2007 probation service frontline staff numbers have fallen by 20% at a time when demands on the service have increased along with the development of new responses and responsibilities.  Probation is not a soft option. Offenders are obliged in the probation process to address their behaviour. They can be supported to change but are also challenged. Effective supervision relies on regular contact and that relies on there being sufficient staff to make that a reality.”

The union also urged the minister to ensure that the probation is sufficiently resourced to maintain and improve its positive contribution to creating a safer Ireland.

Yesterday’s figures were released by the Probation Service in its first major research study into recidivism. The findings show that:

  • 60% of those subject to probation supervision had no conviction within two years of the probation order being granted
  • 66.5% of those subject to community service orders had no conviction within two years of the community service order being granted
  • Those convicted of burglary had the highest reoffending rate at 47% but represented only 0.5% of the overall offender population studied.

Reoffending and reconviction rates internationally show lower rates for those on community supervision as opposed to those being released from custody.