Tag Archives: Video

Roisin Leckey, Victim Information Unit Area Manager, talking about how her unit is still delivering essential services to victims during COVID 19

Probation during Covid: Victim Information Unit Manager Roisin Leckey on delivering essential services to victims of crime

Probation Board for Northern Ireland Victim Information Unit Manager, Roisin Leckey talks about how Probation continues its  work with victims of crime during COVID-19.

Hello, my name is Roisin Leckey and I am the Probation Area Manager for the Victim Information Unit. The Victim Information Unit delivers three Victim Information Schemes, the first one is the Probation Victim Information Scheme, secondly, we are the Prisoner Release Victim Information scheme, and thirdly, the Department of Justice scheme for Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders.

In normal working times when we are based in the office, we would write to victims offering them the opportunity to register for whichever scheme is applicable to them. Since lockdown, we have been now making telephone calls to victims explaining the information they could receive with regards to the offender in their case and inviting them to register. If victims chose to register, we can then discuss over the phone and tell them information over the phone, and follow it up in sending them information by email, obviously respecting confidentiality. The victim can then phone us or ask for further information.

Another area of our work is to provide reports to the parole commissioners on behalf of victims. Victims can do their own representative reports or they can have a Victim Liaison Officer from my team do it on their behalf. Each day during this lockdown, I email my staff every morning to check that they are alright. My main priority is that my staff feel supported and that communication with them is maintained during lockdown. We often use zoom meetings, that’s for team meetings, for ongoing supervision with staff and for other meeting that we are taking place on consultation processes and the development of the unit.

Kirsten McFarland, PBNI Forensic Psychologist, talking about how she is delivering essential mental health services during COVID 19

Probation during Covid: Forensic Psychologist on delivering essential Psychology services

Probation Board for Northern Ireland Forensic Psychologist Kirsten McFarland talks about how Probation’s Psychology work continues during COVID-19.

Hi, my name is Kirsten McFarland and I am a Forensic Psychologist in training within the PBNI Psychology Department. As a result of lockdown and similar to staff across the organisation, the PBNI Psychology Department has had to adapt  during these unprecedented times. This is to ensure we maintain our core business as much as possible despite the limitations that the COVID 19 pandemic have brought.

The Psychology Department is a specialist forensic service within PBNI and our main role is to provide  psychologically informed opinion or advice with regard to a service user’s offending behaviour.

Primarily we work collaboratively with staff across the service to consult on issues relating to individual service users. These issues may include but are not limited to risk, mental health, personality disorder, learning disability and learning difficulties or brain injury.

Whilst we are required to work from home we continue to complete these consultations with staff through phone contact. We have also been able to complete initial assessments with service users through video and phone calls and more recently we have been able to attend multiagency meetings with our partner agencies through tele and video conferencing. This allows us to consider how we can effectively manage an individual’s risk through a multidisciplinary perspective.

We recognise the profound impacts that the current circumstances can have on an individual especially on the factors relating to the individual’s offending including their mental health and addiction issues. As such, we have endeavoured to offer these service users additional support at this time and continue to liaise with the relevant services. This includes GPs, addiction services, mental health teams and specialist forensic mental health teams.

The advice and support that we have received  from these services continues to be invaluable to our Department and ultimately assists with the risk management of the individuals that we work with.

Melissa Spence, PBNI Prisons Manager, talking about how her team is delivering essential services during COVID 19

Probation during Covid: Prison Manager Catherine Gregg on delivering rehabilitation & resettlement services

Probation Board for Northern Ireland Prison Manager Catherine Gregg talks about how Probation work continues during COVID-19 to deliver rehabilitation & resettlement services along with partners.

Hi my name is Catherine Gregg, and I am an area manager currently based at Magilligan prison.

Before Covid 19, my daily work day included going to Magilligan every day with the rest of my team.

The probation team in Magilligan works within a multi-agency setting, so we work alongside our partner agencies who include NIACRO, ADEPT, Barnardo’s and of course the prison service itself.

Therefore, normally we would work with maybe 50 other people alongside interacting and engaging with 450 plus prisoners in Magilligan.

In comparison to the last 6 weeks my daily working day has involved being in my house on my own with my laptop and my work mobile.

Managing a prison team from outside a prison is very challenging, however we have very quickly adjusted to a new world of increased emails and phone calls and we are also utilising the use of web chat and trying to interact as best as we can.

Obviously we still have a role to our clients and the wider public in relation to public protection.

Prior to leaving the prison PBNI were increasing our partnership with the prison service by trying to jointly manage and work together to best manage the risk and also support the prisoners in line with the 2018 resettlement inspection.

We continue to do this albeit we now just do it a slightly different way from outside the prison.

I continue to have daily interactions with the prison service through emails and phone calls and recently we have also commenced multi-agency meetings with the use of web chat which enables ourselves, the prison service and our partner agencies to come together to consider individual cases on how best to progress them despite the current circumstances.

Communication has been vital throughout this change and whilst we obviously look forward to getting back to a little normality with the workplace, in the meantime between ourselves and our partner agencies we continue to work the best we can to ensure service delivery both for our service users and the wider public.