PROTECT N&S is a joint initiative between the Probation
Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) and the Probation Welfare Service
(PWS) in the Republic of Ireland. The project has been developed
in the spirit of the Belfast Agreement and the Criminal Justice
Review that highlighted the need for development of co-operation
between public bodies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
PROTECT N&S has been funded by the Special European
Union Programmes Body under Priority 5 Measure 2 of the European
Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland
and the Border Region of Ireland.
PROTECT N&S aims to contribute to community safety
throughout Ireland by enhancing co-operation between the two probation
services with particular emphasis on developing best practice,
joint training and exchange opportunities. The project will bring
together an Ireland-wide network of Probation management, staff
and Criminal Justice experts who have practical experience of effective
practice in securing the protection and safety of communities through
the social inclusion of offenders.
PROTECT N&S has a range of targets to meet centred
around the development and dissemination of best practice approaches.
The project will run six specific offence-focused seminars with
border teams and will run an all-Ireland conference in both 2005
and 2006. Opportunities for staff exchanges on a cross-border and
international basis will be explored. Practical application will
include the development of projects in border areas working with
partner agencies in the wider criminal justice system. Protect
N&S will also seek to develop cross-border protocols for information
sharing and serve as a conduit for information searches.
PROTECT N&S is an exciting initiative that will strengthen
both partner organisations. It is anticipated that Protect N&S,
while having to focus its work on the border areas, will have an
impact on Probation work across Ireland and through this make a significant
contribution to the reduction of crime and the harm it does.