Frances Fitzgerald announces inter-agency initiative to tackle repeat offending

Photo credit: Vivian Geiran, via Twitter

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald today joined figures from across the justice sector at the launch of the Joint Agency Response to Crime (J-ARC), an inter-agency initiative to reduce re-offending and tackle burglary offences in Ireland.

The scheme is intended to improve collaboration between An Garda Síochána, the Probation Service and the Irish Prison Service in identifying and prioritising prolific offenders and developing specific initiatives to address their behaviour and reduce crime.

It will help provide a framework for the re-offending programmes that will form part of Operation Thor, an ongoing gardaí operation to crack down on burglary offences.

Ms Fitzgerald said: “While it is well known that I am particularly committed to strengthening support for the victims of crime, as Minister for Justice and Equality, I would also like to oversee a system which aims to reduce the number of victims by a reduction in offending.

“The launch of J-ARC today is an endorsement of the work done by criminal justice agencies and community organisations together in challenging offending behaviour which has at its centre the needs of victims to feel safer in their communities.”

The scheme will also rely on “services outside the justice sector” to support community rehabilitation efforts.

According to Ms Fitzgerald, around 75 per cent of property crime in Ireland is linked to 25 per cent of offenders.

She said: “Targeting this cohort of repeat offenders has the potential to significantly reduce the number of burglaries being committed.

“While I believe that prison is the right place for serious and serial offenders, listening to the offenders who are participating in the J-ARC programmes clearly demonstrates the real benefit of providing support and hope to those who wish to change their offending ways.

“A change in a person’s offending ways has a direct effect on reducing the number of crime victims.”

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