11th July 2023
Paul Reynolds of RTÉ writes about the recent ecent CSO data indicating that three in every five people released from prison reoffended within three years. IPRT responded to the news which was published on 11 July 2023.
Read the full article on the RTÉ wesite here.
"The Irish Penal Reform Trust said in response to the news that reoffending is one of the key benchmarks of an effective justice system.
In a statement, the IPRT said that the "reduction in recidivism over the last decade is welcome and reflects a period of reduced prison crowding and investment in rehabilitation".
"However, the statistics published today relate to people who were released from custody as late as 2020. Since then, we have seen significant increases in the number of people in prison. Overcrowding has been a common feature of the prison system over the past year, with repeated use of mattresses on prison floors in response to the swelling numbers in custody. Not only is this concerning from a human rights perspective, but crowded prisons with reduced access to services undermine opportunities to address the causes of offending and could impact future reoffending rates."
The "statistics indicate that people imprisoned for short sentences have the highest rates of re-offending following their release" and that this was no surprise.
The IPRT said "it is well-documented that short sentences offer limited scope to engage in some of the positive rehabilitative services available in prison".
"Community sanctions, on the other hand, often have lower reoffending rates, are less damaging than prison, are less costly, and provide benefits to the community.
It said "many factors that can prevent reoffending, such as good mental health, accommodation, education and employment, sit outside the scope of the justice system"."
Article available on the RTÉ wesite here.