Irish Penal Reform Trust

International News

UK: The Impact of Community Support on Diverting Women from the Criminal Justice System

21st November 2021

A new report by Advance details the findings of their research on diverting women from the criminal justice system, and some key recommendations. It also explains the work of the Women's Diversion Service, whose goal is to allow women to address the circumstances that led them to commit offences.

UK: Counting the Cost of Maternal Imprisonment

25th October 2021

This research found that a deep distrust of local authority social services, compounded by poor communication and information sharing, forms a significant barrier to engaging mothers with services that could help prevent them from offending and support prolonged desistance.

UK: Motherhood Challenged

18th October 2021

This executive summary of doctoral research by Dr Lucy Baldwin is based on in-depth research with 43 criminalised mothers, recording their experiences from their early lives, contact with the criminal justice system, prison and release.

NI: Employer Perspectives on Hiring People with Convictions in Northern Ireland

6th October 2021

Ulster University and NIACRO undertook a quantitative study to explore employer practices and concerns, and to investigate what may increase the likelihood of them hiring people with convictions. Less than 1% of employers surveyed stated they would ‘definitely not’ consider hiring someone with a conviction history

UK: “Maternal Imprisonment Polling Shows Clear Support for Better Services in the Community”

28th September 2021

Crest Advisory recently polled 2,500 members of the British public in order to assess attitudes regarding maternal imprisonment. 56% of those surveyed believed that the funding for 500 new prison places should be redirected to fund support services for women instead.

Penal Reform International: Short Guide to the European Prison Rules

27th September 2021

In this short guide, the key requirements of the European Prison Rules are highlighted by Penal Reform International, with an asterisk (*) placed next to any rule that was brought in after the 2020 revision.

UK: Covid-19 and the Criminal Law: House of Commons Justice Committee

24th September 2021

A new report from the House of Commons Justice Committee analyses the impact Covid-19 had on the criminal justice system in England and Wales, and in particular details the lessons that can be learned from how Covid offences were created and enforced during the pandemic.

US: Custodial Sanctions and Reoffending: A Meta-Analytic Review

22nd September 2021

This article conducts a meta-analysis of various studies that seek to find a correlation between custodial sanctions (imprisonment) and reoffending rates. The authors found that no matter what variables were considered, there was always either a null or criminogenic effect of imprisonment on reoffending, and therefore “the limited effects of custodial sanctions on reoffending should be viewed as a criminological fact.”

USA: Common Justice – Solutions to Violence

6th September 2021

This report profiles 18 groups in the USA that focus on healing and safety but do not rely on the police or incarceration. It provides nights into progressive practices for intervening in violence as it occurs, building viable models for accountability, and centring survivors’ needs.

UK: Reporting on Equalities in Prisons

6th September 2021

Analysis of IMB monitoring reports uncovered some inconsistencies and significant gaps in how IMBs report on equalities in prisons, primarily with respect to the number of equalities areas that are being reported on and the depth of reporting in these areas.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.

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