Minister McEntee publishes the Probation Service Annual Report 2022


Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD has today published the Probation Service Annual Report 2022.


The Probation Service Annual Report details the substantial work undertaken by the Probation Service over 2022 during which the Probation Service worked with 16,347 people in the community, 2,880 people in custody and completed more than 11,800 assessment reports.


Publishing the Annual Report, the Minister said

The Probation Service play an essential role in our criminal justice system, working to provide rehabilitate opportunities and support people as they look to build crime free lives.

Through their work and their network of community-based organisations, they seek to address the underlying causes of offending behaviour across their client base.


Their commitment to improving the lives of the people they work with, addressing offending behaviours and making all of our communities safer, is evident throughout this report.


I want to take this opportunity to thank the Director of the Probation Service, Mark Wilson and his team for their hard work and commitment in responding to the needs of their clients and the increasing demand for Probation Services as activity across the criminal justice sector resumed post-pandemic.


During 2022 the Probation Service made progress on its strategic commitments across many aspects of the organisation. Some key highlights include:


  • the advancement of its new Irish Probation Framework (IPF) a bespoke model of probation practice that is evidence informed, underpinned by research and aims to deliver the best possible outcomes for clients, stakeholders and the wider community;


  • its commitment to the implementation of the Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (2022 – 2026) via the development of a 1–1 rehabilitation programme for men convicted of intimate partner violence;


  • the implementation of a new senior management structure aimed at building capacity in areas such as social inclusion, data analytics and community sanctions & service; and


  • the provision of €17.532 million of funding, via the Department of Justice, to community based organisations across the country to develop and deliver services in communities - which undertake the work of the Probation Service in changing offending behaviour.

Speaking on publication of the Report the Director of the Probation Service, Mark Wilson, said:

“I am delighted to present this Annual Report on the work of the Probation Service. Following two years of COVID-19 disruption, 2022 was another challenging but highly productive year for the Service as we resumed normal operations, whilst delivering an ambitious work plan.


The provision of effective services remained top of our agenda to ensure we continued to meet the needs of our clients, our responsibility to the Courts and our commitment to supporting community safety across Ireland.


I would like to thank colleagues for their continued dedication and commitment to producing the best possible outcomes for their clients, families and wider communities.”


In August 2022 the Minister for Justice published the Review of Policy Options for Prison and Penal Reform 2022-2024. The Review seeks to find the balance between ensuring that people who commit serious crimes receive a punishment and a period of incarceration proportionate to that crime, while at the same time acknowledging that sometimes community-based sanctions are more appropriate in diverting offenders away from future criminal activity and that they have a role to play in addressing criminality, reducing reoffending and providing protection to the public, while holding the individual accountable. 


In response to this in December 2022, the Probation Service published a detailed Evidence Review of Community Service which makes a series of important recommendations aimed at maximising the potential of community Service within the Irish criminal justice system. This directly responds to objectives set out on the Review of Policy Options for Prison and Penal Reform.


The Probation Service Annual Report 2022 is available on the website or can be accessed by clicking the links below:


Note to Editors


The Probation Service is a non-statutory executive agency of the Department of Justice and plays an essential role within the criminal justice system to reduce reoffending and to increase public safety. The Service is responsible for the management and delivery of robust community sanctions, working with offenders to change their behaviour and make good on the harm caused.


2022 Statistics

  • In 2022, the Probation Service dealt with 16,347 offenders in the community and 2,880 offenders in prison.
  • The Probation Service completed 11,814 Probation (Pre-Sanction) Reports and 1,670 Community Service Assessment Reports.
  • The 1,288 Community Service Orders for 2022 totals 174,287 hours work in lieu of 566 years in prison. This equates to over €2 million worth of unpaid work for the benefit of communities nationwide.
  • 16% (1,384) of new referrals in 2022 were female.
  • The Probation Service supervised 702 young persons in 2022.
  • The top six offences resulting in referrals to the Probation Service are
  1. Drug Offences;
  2. Assault;
  3. Theft;
  4. Public Order;
  5. Road Traffic;
  6. Burglary.

(These represent 76% of all referrals to the Probation Service).