The Probation Service dealt with 16,607 offenders in the community and 2,689 offenders in prison last year, according to its annual report. Both figures represented increases on the previous year.
It also completed more than 12,500 Probation Assessment Reports and more than 3,500 Community Service Assessment Reports. Its figures show that almost 84% of new court referrals to the service were male.
Just over 21% of the referrals related to theft, with 17.6% for drug offences and 14.5% for assault.
The Probation Service managed almost 2,800 community service orders last year, which it said resulted in almost €3.5m worth of unpaid work done for the benefit of communities across the country.
The report highlights the service’s responsibilities under the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender based Violence 2016-2021.
It said a working group on domestic violence reviewed and updated the body’s 2016 policy and guidelines on the issue, holding regional focus groups with practitioners as part of a staff consultation exercise.
After the introduction of the Domestic Violence Act 2018, staff were also given specific training on the new offence of coercive control.
Through the Department of Justice and Equality, the Probation Service provided funding of more than €17.5m to a range of community-based organisations to support its work.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the Probation Service was an important agency of her department, and was working to reduce crime levels through offender rehabilitation, with a view to creating safer communities and fewer victims.