Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC)
Action Plan for the Joint Management of Offenders (2019-2021)
In December 2019, the Action Plan for the Joint Management of Offenders (2019-21) was published. This is an action Plan agreed by the Department of Justice and Equality the Probation Service the Irish Prison Service and An Garda Síochána.
The Action Plan is intended as a concise and focused framework to develop further the productive partnership, which our organisations have built through the Joint Strategy on the Management of Offenders (2016-18) and underlying initiatives, such as the Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC) and the Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (SORAM) programmes.
The aims of this Action Plan are set out in the title ‘Enhancing community safety through collaborative management of priority offenders’. For the purposes of the Plan, ‘priority’ relates primarily to convicted offenders who:
- Have caused serious harm to their victims and/or their communities;
- Have been assessed as having a continued high risk; and
- Can be most effectively managed through structured collaboration and joint action between the policing, probation and penal authorities.
Specifically, priority offenders encompassed within this Action Plan comprise sex offenders, perpetrators of domestic abuse and prolific offenders (including violent and other serious anti-social offenders) who are being managed under the various JARC programmes.
A copy of the Action Plan can be found here.
The Joint Agency Response to Crime (‘JARC’) was officially launched in November 2015 by the then Minister for Justice and Equality. JARC is a strategic multi-agency initiative involving an intensive, highly collaborative approach to the supervision and rehabilitation of prolific repeat offenders in particular areas of Dublin, Dundalk, Waterford and Limerick.
JARC brings together a number of specialised individual offender management programmes which collectively aim to:
- Develop and strengthen a multi-agency approach to the management of prolific offenders;
- Prioritise such offenders for targeted interventions and supports to address their behaviour; and
- Reduce crime and victimisation in local communities.
Under JARC, offenders causing the most harm in certain communities are identified and selected as ‘clients’ under one of several offender management programmes. Each programme is delivered on the ground by an operational team of frontline Gardaí, probation officers and prison officers, who work closely with each client to address the factors behind their offending and to direct them away from criminality.
JARC offers its clients tailored supports and practical help with addiction, educational, training or other needs. It is thus implemented in partnership with various community-based organisations and with the support of other Government Departments and State agencies.
JARC clients are closely monitored by the relevant agencies at all times and any negative behaviour, particularly any further offending, is quickly detected and dealt with. This is equally the case with offenders who choose not to engage with JARC.
The Youth – Joint Agency Response to Crime Initiative (Y-JARC) is a pilot multi-agency approach to manage and address the prolific offending and criminal behaviour of young people aged 16 to 21. Two pilot projects were launched in July 2017 – one in Cork (Gurranabraher/Mayfield) and the other in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. The programmes provide an operational approach for co-ordinated and enhance levels of co-ordination and co-operation between An Garda Síochána, the Probation Service, the Irish Prison Service, The Irish Youth Justice Service (Oberstown) and Tusla. As of October 2019 there were 16 participants engaged in the two pilots.
Youth JARC aims to:
- Develop and further strengthen a multi-agency approach to the management of offenders;
- Prioritise these offenders for targeted interventions and supports to address their behaviour; and
- Reduce crime and increase public safety in local communities.
Y-JARC places each of its young clients’ individual needs, strengths and risks at the centre of the offender management process, and works with them to address these issues. Y-JARC also helps make positive changes in the lives of the young people by offering structures assistance with education, training, addiction, mental health or other needs.
The Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (SORAM) programme is the joint management of sex offenders between An Garda Síochána and the Probation Service.
SORAM targets sex offenders who are subject to Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act, 2001 and under the supervision of the Probation service. SORAM is operated at a local and national level. Currently, approximately 15% of sex offenders in the community are being managed through SORAM.
At a local level, the SORAM team is comprised of a Garda Inspector, Senior Probation Officer and Principal Social Worker, as well as liaison Gardaí, supervising Probation Offices and Social Workers. The local team meet regularly and discuss SORAM participants, their risk assessments and management plan.
At a national level, the National SORAM Steering Group comprises representatives from An Garda Síochána, the Probation Service, Child and Family Agency (Tusla), Health Service Executive, the Irish Prison Service and Local Authority Housing.
Last review: January 2020.