Probation Board marks its 400th meeting

Chairman Vilma Patterson MBE, PBNI Chief Executive Cheryl Lamont and Director of Safer Communities for the Department of Justice Anthony Harbinson at the 400th Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) Board meeting.

Today marks PBNI’s 400th Board meeting since the Board was first established in 1982.

Speaking at today’s Board meeting Chairman Vilma Patterson said: “The 400th Board meeting is an opportunity to mark the contribution made by the Board to reducing reoffending and building safer communities in Northern Ireland over the last 36 years.

“The Probation Board has representation from across our communities in Northern Ireland and provides independence, accountability, oversight and strategic thinking which contributes to community safety in NI.

“The context in which the Probation Board is operating has changed dramatically over the last 36 years. Society in NI has changed, the political environment has changed and our economic landscape is very different.   Many positive developments have taken place across criminal justice including increased partnership working and closer engagement with communities.    However it is critical that the devolved institutions including the NI Executive and Assembly are restored so that the positive work that has taken place to date can continue.

“The lack of devolved bodies makes it more difficult for organisations like probation to make long term plans for collaboration across projects and programmes. The problem solving approach to justice outlined in the draft programme for government and PBNI’s draft corporate plan is the way forward and it is important this approach is supported and developed.

“The Probation Board is committed to helping develop public policy that will prevent reoffending and assist in the rehabilitation of those who have offended. We want to continue our work with community organisations, statutory partners and across government to develop innovative solutions that will change lives for safer communities.”

For more information contact PBNI Communications Unit on 028 9026 2400.

Board members are

  • Mrs V Patterson MBE – Chairman
  • Mrs J Erskine – Deputy Chair
  • Mr R Mullan – Member
  • Mr D Brown – Member
  • Mr E Jardine CB – Member
  • Mr T O’Hanlon – Member
  • Ms P Shepherd – Member
  • Ms J Gillespie CBE – Member
  • Mr I Jeffers – Member
  • Mr G OhEara – Member
  • Ms A Matthews – member
  • Mr D Wall – Member
  • Ms B Henderson – Board Apprentice

The Probation Board for Northern Ireland is a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) of the Department of Justice.