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Probation’s Intensive Programme Challenges Criminal Behaviour related to Drugs And Alcohol

Over the Christmas period we know that sale and consumption of alcohol increases. It is timely to remember the impact that alcohol and drug abuse can have on people’s lives.

PBNI’s Director of Rehabilitation, Dr Geraldine O’Hare stated:

“Within Probation 76% of people who are on supervision are assessed as having an alcohol or drug offending related problem. That means that drug or alcohol abuse directly contributed to their offending behaviour. There is a well-established link between drugs, alcohol and crime.   In fact, one of the biggest factors that influences whether someone will reoffend is their use of drugs and alcohol.

“In order to tackle this problem, Probation has a range of interventions and programmes which directly address substance misuse. This includes a new ‘Substance Misuse Court’, which challenges offenders to tackle their drug and alcohol misuse, which has been launched at Belfast Magistrates’ Court. The new Substance Misuse Court pilot allows the Judge to refer offenders, who have been convicted of an offence related to their alcohol or drugs misuse, to an intensive treatment-focused behavioural change programme before sentencing.

“International evidence suggests that this type of intensive treatment is a more effective intervention to rehabilitate offenders in cases where substance misuse is the underlying problem. The programme is delivered by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) in partnership with Addiction NI. It is part of the Department of Justice’s approach to problem solving justice.”


For further information, please contact PBNI Communications Office on T: 028 90262400 or M: 07825897955/07979758011