Launch of book advocates re-imagining the penal system

reimaginingimprisonmentlaunchwebThe launch of Re-Imagining Imprisonment: Effects, Failures and the Future took place on Thursday 5th June in City Hall. The book stems from proceedings of an international conference which was held in Dublin in September 2012, organised by JCFJ on behalf of the Antwerp-based Jesuit Scribani Network.

The book was launched in City Hall by Fr Greg Boyle SJ, who was formerly a chaplain in Folsom State Prison, California and is now Executive Director of ‘Homeboy Industries’, a non-profit organisation working with ex-gang members in Los Angeles. In his speech, Fr. Boyle discussed the need to be conscious of the inherit kinship of human beings in order to create real social change.

Ian O’Donnell who lectures at UCD stated that the solutions to the issues with prison are known, it is a lack of urgency, follow through, structure and critical scrutiny that is preventing these solutions from being implemented.

Eoin Carroll – co-editor of the book with Dr. Kevin Warner – also spoke at the launch. He highlighted a number of key principles discussed both directly and indirectly within the book:

•    It is the deprivation of liberty which constitutes the punishment of imprisonment: namely that people are sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment.
•    People in prison must be treated with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity.
•    The prison system must seek to promote the rehabilitation and social reintegration of those imprisoned.
•    Given that it is the loss of freedom which constitutes the punishment, and given the goal of rehabilitation, then life inside prison should be as normal as possible, with security no greater than is required for safe custody.
•    The use of imprisonment should be kept to a minimum.

The book can be ordered here from the Liffey Press. Alternatively click here for an order form.

Click for Eoin Carroll’s and Ian O’Donnell’s full speech.

Click here for an interview with Fr. Greg Boyle on the Today with Sean O'Rourke show from 06/06/14.

See below for a TED talk by Fr. Greg Boyle.

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Posted in Criminality, Prisons and Justice News

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