Tuesday 23 July 2019

Almost 400 sex offenders managed in community in Ireland last year

A ‘therapeutic’ programme for men who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviour was run in Dublin and Cork.

Almost 400 sex offenders were managed in communities in Ireland in 2018, the Probation Service said (Niall Carson/PA).
Almost 400 sex offenders were managed in communities in Ireland in 2018, the Probation Service said (Niall Carson/PA).

By Michael McHugh, Press Association

Almost 400 sex offenders were managed in communities in Ireland in 2018, the Probation Service said.

A “therapeutic” programme for men who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviour was run in Dublin and Cork.

Medium and high-risk sex offenders were separately monitored in and by the community.

A floating support service helped high-risk and high-need sex offenders access and maintain accommodation in the Greater Dublin area.

The Probation Service annual report said: “In 2018, the Probation Service managed almost 400 sex offenders in communities nationwide, with 146 managed on a multi-agency basis as part of Soram.”

Soram is a risk assessment and management system established in 2010 and supports enhanced levels of co-operation and co-ordination between key organisations involved in managing the risks posed to the community by convicted sex offenders and in safeguarding the welfare of children.

It includes representatives from the Garda, Probation Service, Tusla, local authorities and the Irish Prison Service.

Under Irish law, people convicted of some sexual offences must provide certain information to the Garda, including details of where they will be living when they are released from prison.

The State maintains a record of everyone convicted of certain sexual offences.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said 355,404 hours of community work were carried out by those serving community service orders in 2018.

Probation Service also provided 16.7 million euros to a range of community-based organisation in 2018.

Minister Flanagan said: “The community service order is a very valuable part of the criminal justice system, allowing an offender, where appropriate, to repay their debt to society by carrying out unpaid work in their community rather than by spending time behind bars.

“In 2018, over 350,000 hours of community service were carried out by offenders, benefiting communities nationwide and ensuring that qualifying offenders helped in a very real way to make amends for their criminal actions.”

The director of the Probation Service, Vivian Geiran, said 2018 was a productive year.

“Interagency co-operation is a crucial component of our work.

“To be effective in reducing victimisation, we must continue this cooperative approach, while also strengthening the quality of the professional services we provide.”

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