PBNI is a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which is a Northern Ireland Department that came into existence on 12 April 2010 and was established by the Department of Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2010. It has a range of devolved policing and justice functions, set out in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (Devolution of Policing and Justice Functions) Order 2010.

PBNI seeks to work closely with statutory, community and voluntary organisations in order to achieve its purpose to change lives for safer communities by working with the courts, other agencies and partners to reduce reoffending and integrate offenders successfully back into the community.

Reducing Offending in Partnership (ROP)

ROP is a Northern Ireland-wide approach to the management of priority, or prolific offenders. It is based on evidence that it is prolific offenders who commit acquisitive crime such as robberies, burglaries and thefts and who impact most upon the community.

While recorded crime in Northern Ireland is low in comparison to other areas of the UK, we know that fear of crime remains high and that there is particular concern in communities about priority or prolific offenders.

The core objective of ROP is to bring together the right agencies to ensure that the right interventions are undertaken with the right offenders at the right time. These interventions have the aim of disrupting the offender’s criminal activity thereby reducing their re-offending.

With this in mind the DOJ (Department of Justice), PBNI (Probation Board for Northern Ireland), NIPS (Northern Ireland Prison Service), PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) and YJA (Youth Justice Agency) have come together to form a partnership aimed at reducing crime and dealing with the most prolific offenders. This partnership is called ‘Reducing Offending in Partnership’ or ‘ROP’. More information about ROP can found in the documents below.

Reducing Offending in Partnership (ROP) booklet (PDF)
How Reducing Offending in Partnership (ROP) works (PDF)
Working together to reduce crime – ROP leaflet (PDF)
Stay Onside – New Programme developed by Irish FA and agencies involved in the Reducing Offending in Partnership (ROP)

Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs)

PBNI was one of seven organisations formally designated onto all (District) Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (DPCSPs and PCSPs) in February 2013.  PBNI welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with other statutory organisations and the voluntary/ community sector to deliver safer communities.  Information about how PBNI works in partnership with PCSPs can be found in the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) section.

Public Protection Arrangements in Northern Ireland (PPANI)

PPANI bring together a number of agencies and departments including PBNI, police, prison service and a number of other agencies to work together to provide effective assessment and management of the risks posed by certain sexual and violent offenders. More information on the Public Protection Arrangements in Northern Ireland (PPANI) can be found in the Public Protection section and on the Public Protection Arrangements for Northern Ireland websiteExternal link opens in new window.

The Causeway Programme is a joint venture involving the six Criminal Justice Organisations (CJOs) in Northern Ireland – The Department of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, The Police Service of Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Court Service, Northern Ireland Prison Service, Forensic Science Northern Ireland, and PBNI. The programme aims to deliver significant improvements to the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland by sharing information electronically. The intention remains that as a result of this electronic transfer, information will be accurate, consistent, up-to-date and accessible electronically to all staff that have a need to see it.

On 2nd February 2012, Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJINI) published a follow-up review on the Causeway data sharing mechanism which acknowledges that the Causeway system has become an integral part of the criminal justice system, impacting on its effectiveness and efficiency, and that progress has been made on previous recommendations that fall within the remit of the Causeway team. For more information and to download the report please go to the Department of Justice websiteExternal link opens in new window.

PBNI in the Community
The Community Service scheme has extensive partnerships throughout the Northern Ireland community. Currently offenders carry out their community service hours in approximately 200 community based locations performing a wide range of tasks, for example; environmental work including gardening and general maintenance, assisting in charity shops, redecoration of community facilities, private homes, care taking and cleaning duties, football coaching, assisting in luncheon clubs for elderly. PBNI has supported these partnerships by providing Community and Voluntary sector funding to a range of organisations. To find out more about how PBNI works in the Community please see the PBNI in the Community section. A video explaining the benefits of Community Service can also be viewed below.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

PBNI has been a successful Licensed Organisation for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE)External link opens in new window.  We believe that this programme adds value to our core responsibility by challenging offenders to make a difference in their lives and recognising their achievements. Research undertaken by Cardiff University School of Society Sciences into the impact of DofE participation on offenders indicated that ‘after engaging in the DofE offenders demonstrated a more positive attitude in relation to offending in general, a higher level of victim empathy, less perceived reward for crime, reduced anticipation of re-offending and fewer perceived life problems in future’. The DofE can accredit some of our work with offenders and its modular structure enables participants to achieve success while challenging them to engage purposefully during supervision. Upon completion of their programme, young people in Northern Ireland can have a choice of Award certification: A Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Certificate, a Gaisce – The President’s Award Certificate or an International Award Certificate.

Family Links
Family Links is a programme delivered by NIACRO  (Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders) to help people cope with having a family member in prison. Support services are offered to the families of all prisoners in Northern Ireland, remand and sentenced. For more information please go to the Family Links section of the NIACRO website External link opens in new window.

North/South Protocols
PBNI works with partner agencies in the Republic of Ireland in the area of public protection. For more information please view the North/South Protocols (PDF).

More videos about PBNI working in Partnership

Additional videos can be viewed in the Video Gallery