PBNI Probation Board for Northern Ireland

About us

About Probation

The Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) is a Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department of Justice from 12th April 2010 when policing and justice powers were devolved to the Assembly. Prior to that date the Board was sponsored by the Northern Ireland Office.

As a Non Departmental Public Body we are established by statute to deliver a public service and we are overseen by a Board rather than ministers. We employ our own staff and manage our own budget.

The Board

Max Murray, Board Member
Max Murray CBE,
Board Chair

The Board currently consists of 12 members and its Chair is Max Murray CBE.

Appointments to the Board normally run for a term of three years and may be extended for a second term.

Only in exceptional circumstances will appointments be extended beyond a second term.

The Board oversees the strategic function of Probation services in Northern Ireland. Find out more about our Board.

Senior Leadership Team

PBNI has a senior leadership team which is made up of the Chief Executive, Amanda Stewart; Director of Operations, Gillian Montgomery; and Director of Rehabilitation, Dr Geraldine O’Hare along with Assistant Directors and Heads of Departments.

The Senior Leadership team oversee the day to day running of Probation. Find out more about the Senior Leadership.


Probation staff are involved at all stages of the criminal justice process.

  • Working in Courts, providing pre-sentence reports to assist Judges to make decisions.
  • Working in local communities, supervising sentences that must be served in the community.
  • Working in Prisons, preparing prisoners for release subject to licences.
  • Working directly with victims of crime through the Victim Information Scheme.

Probation Officers in Northern Ireland hold a professional qualification in Social Work (DipSW or equivalent), are professionally trained in the assessment and management of risk and are registered with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council. They are enabled and supported by Psychology staff, Probation Services Officers and corporate staff across specialist functions in HR, finance, IT and communications.

The Probation Board works to change people’s lives to enable safer communities through reducing re-offending. This is carried out through

  • Assessing people subject to a community order or licence and annually prepare over 10,000 reports for Courts, Parole Commissioners and others.
  • Supervising over 4,100 people subject to a range of court orders and licences at any given time.
  • Delivering behavioural change programmes in custody and in the community covering areas
    such as violent offending, sexual offending and drug and alcohol misuse.
  • Providing a Victim Information Scheme to any person who has been the direct victim of a criminal offence where the offender is subject to supervision by PBNI.
  • Working alongside statutory and other partners to minimise the risk of harm posed by offenders.

If you would like to join Probation in changing people’s lives for safer communities you can find out more in our recruitment section.


Partnership is of critical importance to the Probation Board. It works with partners in government, Criminal Justice and across community and voluntary sectors. In order to tackle reoffending and the causes of crime there is a need to develop a partnership approach.  To find out more about organisations linked with Probation, please visit the Links section and the Partnerships section.

You can also find out more about how we work  within the justice sector and with our partners to deliver safer communities in the ‘What are our priorities and how are we doing’ section

We also have a Community and Voluntary Sector Funding section where you can find out more about how we work with individuals and organisations. If you have an idea that Community Service could help with you can also submit your idea in our Community Service section.

Information for Service Users

If you are under Probation supervision and want to find out more about what to expect go to the Service User section. Here you will find out more about the type of Court Order you have been given by the Courts.

You can also find out about what personal information PBNI hold about you at the Access to Information/How to request your personal information under DPA section. This section also includes how you can make a request to have a copy of the information Probation may hold on you.

Information for Victims of Crime

We have a Victim Information Scheme to ensure that victims receive information about what it means when someone is sentenced to an Order which requires supervision by the Probation Board. Since October 2012 the Prisoner Release Victim Information Scheme, the Probation Board for Northern Ireland Victim Information Scheme and the Mentally Disordered Victim Information Scheme (operated by the DOJ) became co-located.

For further information please go to the Victim Information Scheme section.

How are we doing?

Probation aims to provide the best possible service and we welcome feedback.  If you would like to comment on any aspect of our work, please contact us by email  – info@probation-ni.gov.uk or telephone (028) 9052 2522.

To view our complaints procedure, please visit the Complaints section