Probation Board Publishes Guide to Programmes and Interventions

The Probation Board for Northern Ireland has published its “Guide to Group Work Programmes & Individual Interventions” which sets out the range of programmes and interventions Probation use to facilitate personal change to reduce reoffending.

The guide sets out group work programmes and individual interventions that are designed to address the service user’s attitudes and offending behaviour. The programmes focus on the four areas of Domestic Abuse, Sexual Offending, Violent Offending and General Offending Behaviour with the aim of reducing reoffending. The programmes and interventions employed by Probation are each designed to tackle specific offending behaviours such as to reduce domestic violence and sexual offending, tackle aggressive behaviours, reduce drug/alcohol dependency, highlight how crime affects the victim, address hate crime and provide support through teaching coping and problem solving skills.

Each programme or intervention is evidence based and PBNI Psychology staff provide clinical oversight and specialist assessment. This provides an opportunity to examine the service user’s complex needs, identify risk factors and agree the most appropriate way of addressing any issues.

Assistant Director of Programmes and Interventions, Gillian Montgomery, said: “Today PBNI launches a new Programmes and Interventions guide for staff. The guide sets out the wide range of group work programmes and individual interventions we deliver to assist those we supervise to make positive change in their life choices. It also outlines the criteria our staff use when making any referral to a programme or intervention including suitability, motivation, Order/Licence requirements and anticipated completion time. Recommendations are made to Court at the pre-sentence stage, which if accepted by the Sentencing Court would then form part of the sentence imposed. Importantly, the service user has to consent to take part in the recommended programme or intervention at the referral stage. Our programmes and interventions are designed to give the individual an opportunity to recognise their harmful behaviours and commit to changing those behaviours.”

Twylla Cunningham, Principal Psychologist, said: “PBNI’s Psychology Department provide clinical oversight for PBNI’s accredited programmes and interventions. Of the service users Probation supervises, 76% have drug/alcohol addictions, 63% have emotional wellbeing problems, 59% have family and personal relationship issues and our psychologists provide specialist advice on these complex needs. In this way the risk and needs of service users are carefully considered during their time on a programme or intervention to give them the best chance to change their lives for safer communities.”

The Guide to Group Work Programmes & Individual Interventions can be found the Programmes section of the website.

For more information contact PBNI Communications Unit on 07979 758011.