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BPS award for work on new approaches to criminal justice in Northern Ireland

20 March 2019

Dr Geraldine O’Hare’s research into problem-solving courts, and the adoption of new approaches to criminal justice in Northern Ireland, has won the BPS Award for Innovation in Practice.

Geraldine is the Director of Rehabilitation of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), and for more than 20 years has been using her knowledge as a chartered, forensic psychologist to promote the rehabilitation of offenders.

She was recently awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship, allowing her to spend time in the USA researching problem-solving courts, which aim to tackle the underlying causes of offending.

Geraldine has now implemented the best practice from a number of US states in Northern Ireland, with the support of the Department of Justice.

Dr O’Hare said:

“I am absolutely delighted and very honoured to receive this award from the BPS. I am also grateful to the Churchill Trust, the Probation Board for Northern Ireland, and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland for all of their support.

After spending time in the USA to research problem solving justice and problem solving courts, we’ve been able to work together to implement innovative and effective approaches to offender rehabilitation in Northern Ireland.

My sincere thanks to my colleagues, who have enthusiastically embraced these new initiatives with a belief in changing lives for the better.

I am touched that my work has been recognised and will continue to drive initiatives which reduce reoffending.”

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