Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC)
The Joint Agency Response to Crime (‘JARC’) is a strategic offender management initiative led by An Garda Síochána, the Probation Service and the Irish Prison Service, with the active support and engagement of the Department of Justice.
The key objectives of JARC are 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 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.
JARC was first piloted under three Dublin-based programmes, as follows:
STRIVE: This programme is aimed at adults with a history of causing high levels of harm or disruption to a designated area of north Dublin.
Bridge (Change Works): This programme is aimed at adult males across the Dublin Metropolitan Region who have a history of violent crime.
ACER3: This programme is aimed at adult offenders in the Dublin 8 and 24 areas who have a repeated and prolific history of burglary.
Watch a more detailed video about the JARC initiative here: JARC Further Information
In 2018, independent evaluations were completed on each of the three pilot JARC programmes. These evaluations found that, while it was difficult to draw definitive conclusions given the relatively small numbers of clients (about 120 in total) and the limited measurement timeframe (18 months approx), all the indications were that the pilot programmes had helped to reduce both the frequency and severity of reoffending among their client groups and indeed had helped many clients to move away from criminality altogether.
A comparative ‘desktop’ review of the three evaluations can be found here. It notes that during the time periods evaluated:
37% of Bridge (Change Works) participants did not reoffend;
Almost 30% of STRIVE participants did not reoffend;
15% of ACER3 participants did not reoffend, with a reduction in offending noted among a further 45% of participants.
Following the success of these pilots, the ACER3 programme has been rolled out to additional locations in Dundalk, Waterford and Limerick, while a Youth-JARC programme (for offenders aged 16-21) is being piloted in Dublin and Cork in partnership with Tusla and the National Educational Welfare Board.