Spotlight on Women in Prison

Women in Prison: Need for ChangeThe latest report by the Inspector of Prisons on women in prison requires follow up and action. A position paper produced by the Irish Penal Reform Trust, contributed to by the Women in Prison Reform Alliance, provides a blueprint. The Irish Prison Service’s promised strategy for women in prison, due to be published in May 2013 as a matter of urgency, needs to be published.

The overuse of imprisonment for women and the conditions in which they are detained has been of particular concern to the JCFJ since 2008. In May of that year we hosted a seminar on women in prison, our guest speaker was Baroness Jean Corston. Baroness Corston had just written a hard hitting report on the situation of women in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. Senator Ivana Bacik who has been a leading advocate for prisoner’s rights also spoke at the event.

Posted in Criminality, Prisons and Justice News

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Pause and Think about People in Prison

juveniledetentionPrisoner and Restorative Justice Week (17 – 23 November 2013) is an opportunity to stop and think about the 4,000+ people detained in Ireland’s fourteen prisons and the need to restore relations between people who have caused harm and those who have suffered.  

This week, Peter McVerry SJ is featured on RTE's A Living Word reflecting on the topic of restorative justice. These will be aired at 6.40am and repeated 12.58am every weekday during Prisoner and Restorative Justice Week. Podcasts of these reflections can be found at the bottom of this page.

Eoin Carroll, Advocacy Officer in the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice said this week:

We need to think about what the purpose of imprisonment is and our responsibility as a society for the conditions under which people are detained. The Mission Statement of the Irish Prison System – to provide “safe and secure custody, dignity of care and rehabilitation to prisoners for safer communities” – expresses laudable aims but we know from many reports over the years that our society has failed to devote sufficient attention and resources to the achievement of these objectives.

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Launch of 'Making Progress?' Report on Irish Prison Service's Strategic Plan

Prison reform Strategic Plan has produced innovative and positive developments, but serious problems continue in the Irish prison system, says Jesuit Centre

fullcover-webIMMEDIATE RELEASE

To view a copy of the report click here.

11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

In a new report the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice says that the first year of implementation of the Irish Prison Service’s “Three Year Strategic Plan 2012–2015” has shown imaginative and innovative developments in prison policy, but has also been marked by some worrying deficiencies and delays in the implementation process.

The report was prepared by the Centre with the aim of analysing progress in implementing the specific commitments made in the “One Year Implementation Plan”, published by the Irish Prison Service in mid-2012, shortly after the publication of the overall Three Year Strategic Plan.

The Jesuit Centre’s report, entitled “Making Progress? Examining the first year of the Irish Prison Service’s Three Year Strategic Plan 2012–2013”, was launched today, Wednesday, 9 October 2013, by former Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Pauline McCabe.

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New Cork Prison doesn't meet necessary standards

patricks conditions 250Legislation to provide for a new prison in Cork is in the process of passing through both houses of the Oireachtas, the Dáil and Seanad Éireann. The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has been referenced a number of times during these debates, and two of its team members Fr Peter McVerry and Eoin Carroll have been quoted. The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice welcomes the replacement of the old prison which has been condemned in numerous reports including those by the Council of Europe's watchdog The Committee for the Prevention against Torture. However, the Centre has serious concerns in the standards set for the proposed prison - in particular the abandonment of the principle of one-person, one-cell. To view the transcription of the debates click here for the Dáil and here for Seanad Éireann.

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Jesuit Centre welcomes the closure of St Patrick's Institution but has concerns

juveniledetentionWednesday, 3 July 2013, 18h15 for Immediate Release

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice welcomes the announcement today by the Minister for Justice, Mr Alan Shatter TD, that, following the most recent Annual Report of the Inspector of Prisons, St Patrick's Institution will be closed as a detention centre for young people under the age of twenty-one.

Eoin Carroll, Advocacy Officer with the Centre, said: "The closure of St Patrick's is long overdue; over many years, reports by many different organisations have called for this action to be taken."

However, Mr Carroll pointed out that the complex challenges of responding appropriately to the needs of young people in detention will not disappear once St Patrick's Institution is closed.

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