Category: Penal Policy

Image of light coming through prison window

The Unintended Prison Experiment

  We have never been so obsessed with experiments. In some sense, our former way of life ostensibly hinges on their success. Reports of the merest success against Covid-19 imbue us with hope. On the periphery of the pandemic, slightly more removed, many unintended social experiments have occurred or are ongoing in Ireland. Typically, social… Read more »

No Country For Poor Women

A common lament of those working in the area of prison policy is a lack of information. This has not been one of those weeks. Since the beginning of the week, a number of documents with either a full or partial focus on prisons – the Irish Prison Service Annual Report 2019, a draft Programme… Read more »

Submission to Youth Justice Strategy 2020-26

  The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has made a submission to the Youth Justice Strategy 2020-2026 as part of the public consultation phase for the development of the document. We hope to contribute to the development of a fair and effective youth justice system which responds appropriately to children and young people who… Read more »

Ireland has a racist criminal justice system

  It is less than two weeks since the Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was caught on camera killing George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man. Floyd, who was a father of three, an accomplished sportsman, and a devout Christian had been suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 note. Protests in the city of Minneapolis… Read more »

Release prisoners on remand to halt Covid-19

  Reduction of the remand population is a crucial component of any overarching strategy to reduce prison numbers to a realistic level where the spread of Covid-19 can be delayed and mitigated, says Keith Adams.

prison cell bars

Prison Policy Response to Covid-19

  Keith Adams, JCFJ Social Policy Advocate, has sent a policy briefing document to Minister Charlie Flanagan and the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE) which puts forward three proposals for how the prison population can be reduced to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice strongly believes… Read more »

Temporary Release Needed to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 to Prisons

  COVID-19 has not been hindered by national borders. It is naïve to presume that walls will hinder its spread. Wherever people are found, this virus can flourish. In response to the risks posed to prisoners and prison staff, the Irish Prison Service has published an outline of how it is elevating its level of… Read more »

Climate is NOT the most important issue

  Despite 2019’s “green wave”, just a small percentage of the electorate says the environment is their top priority when choosing who to vote for in next month’s general election. To see it as disconnected from the other electoral issues is an error, says Kevin Hargaden.

Election 2020 Guide: Prison Reform

Prison reform is not a topic that is high on the election agenda. However, the inhumane conditions of our prisons and the number of prisoners who come from backgrounds characterised by poverty and trauma should concern us as members of a modern, progressive society.

Image of light coming through prison window

Prisons: Disappearing the Failures of Social Services

Last week, a homeless, brain-damaged man was revealed to have been on indefinite remand for over a year within the high dependency unit in Mountjoy prison. He was deemed unsuitable to stand trial. Yet, due to the cancellation of a care-plan by the HSE for “resource” issues, he was to remain imprisoned as he was… Read more »