23rd October 2011
Writing in the Sunday Independent, Daniel McConnell reports on the forthcoming Spent Convictions Bill:
"Mr Shatter has denied the bill allows convicts to wipe their record clean. The Spent Convictions Bill is at an advanced stage of drafting, with only finer details left to be finalised. The bill is included in the Government's legislative programme and is due to be published before the end of this Dail term or early 2012."
The article describes the Bill as being "able to airbrush" a criminal record when applying for jobs. It quotes Justice Minister Alan Shatter as stating that "The bill will not entail a deletion of the record, but rather a non-disclosure of the offence in certain circumstances."
The article also refers to a study by IBEC which found that criminal records are seen as a major barrier to offering employment, with only 52% of employers stating that they would consider employing an individual with a criminal record.
The article finishes with reference to IPRT's support of the Bill:
"The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has welcomed the bill. "Such legislation is a necessary element in ensuring that the commission of a criminal offence does not lead to permanent barriers to reintegration into society," the IPRT said. The Law Reform Commission, the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Law Society of Ireland have long advocated that such 'second-chance' legislation should be available in Ireland."