Written Answers - Probation and Welfare Service.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 706 No. 3

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  520.  Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh  Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   his views on whether the moratorium on recruitment is reducing the capacity of the Probation Service to implement the post release supervision of high risk offenders. [14826/10]

  521.  Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh  Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   his views on whether the moratorium on recruitment is reducing the availability of the Probation Service for the supervision of community service orders and if this will hamper efforts to make non-custodial sentences the default for minor offences. [14827/10]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  I propose to take Questions Nos. 520 and 521 together.

As the Deputy is aware the Probation Service, in common with the rest of the Civil Service, is subject to the Government’s moratorium on recruitment and promotion and its staff also [676]have access to the Incentivised Career Break Scheme and the Incentivised Scheme of Early Retirement, which are available to staff in the Civil Service. Where vacancies do arise, the Probation Service is required to prioritise its workload and allocate its resources to maximise its efficiency and effectiveness and minimise the impact on the delivery of frontline services.

I can confirm that the Courts have been made aware of the impact of the Government’s moratorium on recruitment and priority is being given to assessments that are legally required to be carried out by the Probation Service. The Probation Service is also prioritising its work on the supervision of offenders by focusing more on high risk cases, Community Service Orders and young offenders. The categories identified in these Questions fall into the prioritised work of the Probation Service.


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