The scheme provides a multi-agency approach that includes the Youth Justice Agency, Probation Board, Prison Service and the PSNI. It delivers early identification and intervention, the close monitoring of offenders and support and assistance for them. A pilot scheme operating in Ballymena and Coleraine achieved a 68% reduction in offences by priority offenders in 2011/12.
Mr Dickson said: “Reducing offending is a difficult and complicated issue, but through a joined-up approach such as that offered by’Reducing Offending in Partnership’, we can make Northern Ireland a safer place.
“Through this partnership, we can reduce the level of offending by seeking to work with priority offenders and offering them the necessary assistance and support. This scheme will also enable the Department of Justice to work with other Departments and agencies towards early identification and intervention in situations affecting those at risk of offending. This is an example of joined-up government that other Ministers ought to adopt.
“It is another part of the wider reforms that David Ford is introducing to build safer, shared and confident communities.”