Launch Press Release
New Project to link Probation North and South
Launched today (Monday 13 September 2004) at the Armagh City Hotel, PROTECT N&S - Probation Reducing Offending Through Enhanced Co-operation and Training North and South - is a joint initiative between the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) and the Probation and Welfare Service (PWS) in the Republic of Ireland, 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.
The Project Launch is being marked by the unveiling of the PROTECT N&S website and by the publication of the first issue of the Irish Probation Journal. Launching the project PBNI Chairman, Brian Rowntree CBE said; "PROTECT N&S represents a commitment from both PBNI and PWS to learn, innovate and develop best shared practice - to be the best and most effective that each can be in a spirit of partnership that will protect and benefit the people of both jurisdictions. It represents a considerable challenge and an enormous opportunity to have an impact on Probation work across Ireland and to make a significant contribution to the reduction of crime and the harm it does."
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 Expert Panel who represent an Ireland-wide network of Criminal Justice sector representatives, Probation management and staff who have practical experience of effective practice in securing the protection and safety of communities through the social inclusion of offenders.
Launching the PROTECT N&S website, the PWS Principal Probation and Welfare Officer, Sean Lowry said; "The website will facilitate communication with the staff of both services and will disseminate the conclusions reached in the work of the project about best probation practice in protecting the community". This occasion also marks the official launch of the Irish Probation Journal, introduced by PBNI Chief Executive, Noel Rooney; "The Journal represents in tangible form what the work of PROTECT N&S is about - co-operation, shared learning and excellence in practice." The Journal includes a wide range of contributions from criminal justice practitioners and academics. The first issue has a number of articles particularly relevant to current issues facing both organisations.
The Criminal Justice Review underlined the need for co-operation between public bodies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. PROTECT N&S represents a genuinely exciting initiative that will strengthen both partner organisations and will make a strong contribution to the development of community safety and security throughout Ireland.