The drive to modernise aspects of the Isle of Man Prison and Probation Service has been strengthened through the appointment of a new Head of Community Rehabilitation.
Geraldine Martin brings a wealth of experience to the role having held a number of senior positions within the criminal justice service in Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria.
Her appointment will help the Department of Home Affairs to address the rehabilitation needs of prisoners with a view to reducing levels of reoffending. There will also be a strong focus on supporting victims of crime to ensure they have an appropriate voice within the Isle of Man criminal justice system.
Geraldine has headed restorative justice programmes in the United Kingdom and will seek to identify opportunities to further expand the process in the Island as part of her wide-ranging remit. Restorative justice provides a constructive way in which offenders can make amends for the harm they have caused and gives victims an effective means of explaining the distress they have suffered. It has been proven to reduce reoffending as individuals reflect on the impact of their behaviour.
A senior officer at the Lancashire Probation Trust for more than 20 years, she has extensive knowledge of probation, community service and integrated offender management, in addition to leading a pioneering intermittent custody initiative for Her Majesty’s Prison Service – ‘weekend prison’ for low-risk offenders.
‘I am looking forward to supporting the Department’s efforts to reform the criminal justice system. I want to work with my colleagues to build on the solid foundations that are already in place and provide an efficient, effective and transparent Probation Service for the Isle of Man.’
‘There is scope to modernise the Island’s approach to criminal justice, in particular through restorative justice. By giving victims of crime a voice and helping offenders to reintegrate into the community we can protect vulnerable people and keep the Island safe. I am also committed to developing stronger links with partner agencies, including the Isle of Man Constabulary, Youth Justice Team, Department of Health and Social Care and Isle of Man Courts.’
The appointment has been welcomed by Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK who said:
‘Geraldine has the qualities and experience to drive forward what is a diverse and challenging area of the Department’s work. Rehabilitating offenders and reducing reoffending rates means fewer victims of crime and safer communities. We are determined to achieve further modernisation of the criminal justice system and deliver meaningful results for offenders, victims and the general public.’