People in prison are amongst the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. The majority have left school early, experience literacy and learning difficulties and have a history of unemployment. Many prisoners suffer from mental illness and experience drug and alcohol dependency. A substantial number of prisoners have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Prisons have become dumping grounds for those rejected by society.
The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice in early 2012 compiled a policy document on prisons in Ireland, The Irish Prison System: Vision, Values, Reality, which articulates concerns and provides an overview of the prison system. Of particular focus for the Centre is the promotion of safe and humane custody, reduction in imprisonment and appropriate services for people leaving prison. The Centre's journal, Working Notes, contains relevant articles on this issue.
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