Law Society Gazette: Justice plan means low-level offenders will avoid jail
1st September 2022
The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) welcomed the Review of Policy Options for Prison and Penal Reform 2022-2024 and associated action plan approved by Cabinet.
IPRT's Saoirse Brady said the long-anticipated review is a comprehensive and ambitious roadmap to transform the entire penal system, welcoming its focus on community-based sanctions and alternatives to custody for low-level offenders. commented on the six recommendations within the plan.
Read the full article in the Law Society Gazette here.
Listen to Saoirse on KFM speaking about it from 14.00 here.
See the full Review of Policy Options for Prison and Penal Reform 2022-2024 here.
The summary of the priority actions are as follows:
- To consider the incorporation of prison as a sanction of last resort in statute, in relation to people who do not pose a risk of serious harm, to reduce reoffending and overcrowding in prisons,
- To develop and expand the range of community based sanctions including alternatives to prison,
- Moving on the implementation plan for those with mental health and addiction with better primary care support on release,
- To ensure that all criminal justice policy decisions are pre-assessed to determine their impact across the criminal justice sector,
- To establish a penal policy consultative council,
- To introduce judicial discretion to set minimum tariffs for life sentences and examine the effectiveness of use of mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes.