Issue: 58: Time for Justice?


Working Notes – Issue 58 Editorial

‘Women should be imprisoned only if the offences they have committed are of such seriousness that the protection of the public, or the interests of justice, require that they receive a custodial sentence’; ‘where women need to be imprisoned, they should be detained in small, geographically-dispersed, multi-functional custodial units, not large prisons’; ‘both custodial and... Read more »



Building Sustainable Communities – The Role of Housing Policy

The Barriers to Community Building sustainable communities is extremely difficult in Ireland today. In many urban areas, at least, the sense of community has almost disappeared. There are several reasons why this is so: First, increased mobility means that many people expect to move from one community to another and so may have fewer bonds... Read more »

Housing Policy  

Crime and Punishment: A Christian Perspective

At the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles, it was usual to distinguish between paramilitary prisoners and ODCs – ‘ordinary decent criminals’. The terminology is suggestive, even provocative: is it ever right to consider criminals as ‘ordinary’, much less ‘decent’? Certainly, it would be altogether wrong to trivialise the plight of victims, and especially victims... Read more »

Penal Reform  

23.6.08. Dublin. Mountjoy Prison. ©Photo by Derek Speirs

What Does God Think of Irish Prisons?

The April 2008 issue of Working Notes entitled, ‘Thornton Hall Prison – A Progressive Move?’, has inspired the following article, which is written from the viewpoint of Catholic theology. I have never been jailed myself; however, courtesy of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform I had the privilege of visiting a number of... Read more »

Penal Reform  

Jean Corston

Women in Prison: The Corston Report

In March 2006, I was commissioned by the then Home Secretary, Charles Clarke MP, to undertake ‘a review of women with particular vulnerabilities in the criminal justice system’ of England and Wales. My report was published in March 2007.1 In December 2007, the Government issued an official response to the findings of the review.

Penal Reform