Amanda Stewart takes up the reins of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland on Monday 4th October as its newly appointed Chief Executive.
The Probation Board’s aim is ‘changing lives for safer communities’ and it is responsible for supervising sentences served in the community and licences when someone is released from prison. Probation staff also provide assessments, interventions and programmes to assist people to desist from crime and become rehabilitated and resettled in communities.
Welcoming Amanda Board Chair Dale Ashford said: “Amanda brings a wealth of experience to PBNI having worked within the criminal justice system for over 20 years. The value she places on partnership working and engagement across the justice sector will greatly assist probation to deliver on its strategic priorities. Our partnership work is central to everything we do and I look forward to Amanda leading on further developing partnerships across justice and with the voluntary and community sectors to help us rehabilitate and resettle people who have offended.
“Like all public services PBNI has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are looking at new ways of working to ensure we continue to deliver vital public services to all communities. Our new Chief Executive will lead on this and ensure we have an organisation that is agile, responsive and effective.”
Justice Minister Naomi Long welcomed Amanda’s appointment adding: “PBNI is an organisation that is involved at all stages of the criminal justice process. It delivers a number of justice priorities including tackling domestic abuse, tackling sexual and violent offences and implementing problem solving justice initiatives. Amanda’s experience and leadership will enable the organisation to continue its critical role of changing lives for safer communities.”
Ms Stewart added: “I am delighted to take up this post with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. Probation is a really innovative and creative organisation and I look forward to building on all that has been achieved to date. In my first month I plan to meet staff throughout the organisation and hear about the issues they currently face and how we can work together to deliver a safer NI for everyone.”
Amanda Stewart worked for the Policing Board since its inception and has a wide range of experience across the Board’s responsibilities, including policing with the community, partnership and engagement, policy, human rights and police pensions and administration.
Beginning her career as a Youth Worker with the Belfast Education and Library Board, Amanda holds a BSC (Hons) Degree in Community Youth Work from the University of Ulster and a Masters in Education and Contemporary Society.
As Chief Executive of the Probation Board Amanda is the Accounting Officer and responsible for the day to day delivery of all probation services.