The document provided by IMPACT entitledThe Probation and Welfare Service in Ireland: Confronting Crime, Serving the Community, Working with Offenders deals with the main aspects of the work of the Probation and Welfare Service. It draws attention to the important role of the Probation and Welfare Officer in a range of community-based and institution-based activities.
In my Department's policy document theManagement of Offenders—A Five Year Plan there are a number of measures aimed at utilising to the greatest possible extent the Probation and Welfare Service and addressing the issues raised by IMPACT. These measures include the introduction of the concept of Positive Sentence Management which will facilitate a move to planned and programmed releases, where justified and earned, under the supervision of the Probation and Welfare Service. Another is the development of more community sanctions and measures at the court stage. Other measures incorporated in the Five Year Plan include:—
—the development of community based Probation and Welfare facilities to manage offenders on release from custody before the expiry of sentences.
—the development of a formalised aftercare service.