In Partnership

word cloud of Probation Board partners

Probation leads in the reduction of reoffending by tackling the root causes of offending behaviour and rehabilitating people. We are collaborative and transformative in working to reduce the number of victims of crime and building safer communities.

Some of our partnerships to tackle reoffending are set out below:

Public Protection Arrangements in Northern Ireland (PPANI)

PPANI is an acronym for the Public Protection Arrangements in Northern Ireland, which were introduced in October 2008 to make more effective the work the police, probation and others do to manage the risks posed by certain sexual and violent offenders when they are released from prison into the community. PPANI is not a statutory body in itself but a structure that enables agencies to undertake their statutory duties and coordinate their functions to enhance public protection.

More information on the Public Protection Arrangements in Northern Ireland (PPANI) can be found in the Public Protection section.

Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs)

Policing and Community Safety Partnership Logo

The Probation Board for Northern Ireland was one of seven organisations formally designated onto all (District) Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (DPCSPs and PCSPs) in February 2013.  Probation welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with other statutory organisations and the voluntary/ community sector to deliver safer communities.

Partnership working is a keystone of Probation practice. We recognise that safely managing offenders, reducing risk and addressing offending behaviour is more effective when done in partnership with others.

Membership of PCSPs allows Probation to work alongside community representatives, political representatives and independent members to develop solutions to tackle crime, the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Probation brings a unique set of knowledge, skills and expertise in working with offenders to issues of concern in dealing with offending.  We contribute to the action plans developed by the PCSPs and actively work alongside other members of the PCSP to achieve successful outcomes.

Membership of PCSPs has allowed Probation to raise awareness of the work we do in managing offenders, addressing the causes of crime in making communities safer and on achieving shared objectives.

Probation will have Area Manager representation on all of the PCSPs and DPCSPs in the new council arrangements.

We are committed to working in partnership with others to:

  • address issues of local concern
  • to contribute to enhancing community safety
  • to engage with the community to identify issues of concern
  • work collaboratively to achieve results

 Useful links

Reducing Offending in Partnership (ROP)

The Reducing Offending in Partnership (ROP) is an approach that covers the whole of Northern Ireland involving Police Service of Northern Ireland, Probation Board for Northern Ireland, Youth Justice AgencyNorthern Ireland Prison Servicethe Department of Justice and other organisation within the Criminal Justice sector.

ROP aims to reduce crime and re-offending and overall, improve public confidence within the Criminal Justice System. ROP strives to help make communities safer by three main stands, Prevent and Deter, Catch and Control and Rehabilitate and Resettle.


Probation works in partnership with the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) to provide services for people in the Justice system, specifically people who are serving all or part of their court sentence in custody.

This means working in partnership to address criminal behaviours, managing the risks and needs of individual prisoners, identifying their strengths and assisting people on their journey of rehabilitation and resettlement as they reintegrate into the community on their release from custody. This incorporates a number of interventions that operate through custody to community, and also includes mental health assessment of cases, through the two Psychology Departments.

Probation and NI Prison Service work together across the Prison estate to reduce reoffending, resulting in fewer victims of crime and ultimately a safer Northern Ireland.


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.

Community Service

The Community Service scheme has extensive partnerships throughout the Northern Ireland community. Currently people on community service work 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. Probation has supported these partnerships by providing Community and Voluntary sector funding to a range of organisations. To find out more about how Probation works in the Community please see the PBNI in the Community section

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.

North/South Protocols

Probation works with partner agencies in the Republic of Ireland through the Public Protection Advisory Group. The Public Protection Advisory Group (PPAG), is jointly chaired by the Chief Executive of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and the Director of the Irish Probation Service. It was established in 2006 to specifically address how increased cross-border co-operation could be taken forward and to specifically implement the probation elements of the agreed work programme emanating from the Inter-Governmental Agreement. Please see further information on North South co-operation view the North/South Protocols (PDF).

Health Trusts

Probation’s Psychology Department work closely with Community Forensic Teams (CFTs) in all Health Trust areas. An information sharing agreement is in place and team meetings are attended regularly by allocated Probation Psychologists to ensure relevant information is shared between organisations. Those service users referred to Forensic Teams have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness/learning disability and are also assessed as posing a significant level of risk in terms of their offending behaviour. Cases are co-managed as appropriate between Probation and the various Health Trusts. The Health Trusts are

Drug and Alcohol Co-Ordination Teams (DACTs).

The Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Teams (DACTS) focusses on aiming to address drug and alcohol misuse by developing events, initiatives and resources. All of the DACTs are made up of statutory and community agencies that share this same interest. PBNI work closely with these teams and are proud to have the opportunities to raise awareness of the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. You can find more information from the Drug and Alcohol NI website.

Voluntary/Community Sector

Probation works in partnership with voluntary and community organisations throughout Northern Ireland to change lives for safer communities. Some of the organisations Probation works with in the past and present include NIACRO, Extern, the Churches, sports organisations like the IFA, GAA and their local clubs, Riding for the Disabled, St Columb’s Park House, Men’s Sheds, Women’s Aid, Nexus, and many, many more.

Probation utilises its Community and Voluntary Sector budget to fund initiatives that provide non-core, secondary services to support Probation’s core statutory work and services with Service Users. There are four ways to allocate the funding:–

  • Procurement: services are procured through the Department of Finance for service providers from both private and Community and Voluntary Sector.
  • Grant Aid: The grant is open to Community and Voluntary Sector service providers. Where their application is successful, grant aid is allocated for one year with the option to extend a further two years.
  • Funding through Strategic Partnerships: Probation may enter into joint procurement arrangements with strategic partners such as the Department of Justice (DoJ), the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) and the Youth Justice Agency (YJA).
  • Contingency Provision: Probation may provide short-term funding to Community and Voluntary Sector service providers where funding timelines are uncertain or business needs change. This funding would be provided on a contingency basis.

Find out more about Probation in the Community.