Violence and intimidation likely to ‘infect’ and undermine the regime of new Thornton Hall prison


26 Upper Sherrard Street, Dublin 1.
Tel:  01 8556814    Fax:  01 8364377; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Web site:

JCFJ Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
18 November 2007

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tony O’Riordan, Director, 087 928 6945

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Towards A Directory of Irish Criminological Research

Hard Copy Update


Make a Submission to the Directory

Criminological Directory

Since the launch of Towards a Directory of Irish Criminological Research, we have been very encouraged by the cooperation and positive feedback and we are happy to know that many people find both the printed and electronic versions of the Directory useful. Therefore, we have decided to update and reprint the hard copy of the Directory.

If you are currently engaged in research of this nature and should you wish to be included in the Directory, we ask you to please supply us with details.


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Rehabilitation in Irish Prisons: Are we for Real? Working Notes, October 2006

Issue 53 of Working Notes is available here for download. This issue's articles include:

Boys inside St. PatsRehabilitation-Are we for Real?
by Peter McVerry

If money were scarce, and one had to prioritise where to invest in rehabilitative facilities within prison, where would you invest it? I suggest that the greatest return is likely to be found amongst the younger prison population who are still at a very decisive developmental period in their lives, namely the 16 -21 age group. Hence for evidence of any sort of political commitment to rehabilitation within prison, one might expect to look at the detention centres and services for young offenders.

Alternatives to Custody in Ireland
by Dr. Mairead Seymour

Ireland has seen a sharp increase in its prison population and a corresponding expansion of the prison estate over the last decade despite a reduction in the levels of recorded crime. Indeed, since 1995 the prison population rate has grown from 57 per 100,000 of national population to 78 per 100,000 of national population in 2006i. It has been suggested that the politicisation of the crime issue since the mid-nineties fuelled by extensive media coverage of high profile crime cases are key factors in the growthii. The prosperous economic conditions arising from the era of the Celtic Tiger are also identified as enabling a prison expansionist policy to become a realityiii. Despite numerous calls for a re-orientation of the system towards using custody as a last resortiv little change has occurred in almost 100 years (Probation of Offenders Act 1907) with the exception of the Criminal Justice (Community Service) Act 1983 and the Children Act 2001.

An Awards Ceremony for Criminals
by Tony O'Riordan SJ

Imagine if we introduced an annual award ceremony for Ireland’s most successful criminals. Who might be present at such a gala event and who would be likely to receive nominations and awards?

It is unlikely that such an event will ever happen but the very suggestion might help us think about some of the problems with our contemporary images and assumptions about crime, anti-social behaviour and fairness in Irish society.

Click here to download this issue in PDF format

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Mental Illness in Irish Prisons - Issue (52) Working Notes

The current issue of Working Notes (Issue 52) is now available online. You can read all of the articles here.

Editorial by Eugene Quinn

Mental Illness in Irish Prisons: A Right to the Best Available Health Care? by
Eugene Quinn
The In June 2004, the Irish Prison Service published a statement of Health Care Standards, covering the care of those detained in Irish prisons and places of detention. The core aims of the Standards are stated as being: "to provide prisoners with access to the same quality and range of instruments to which they would be eligible within the general community" and to give priority to the promotion of the health of prisoners

Still Waiting for Housing by Peter McVerry SJ
Continuing increases in overall housing output and growth of both social and affordable housing provision are having positive impacts on waiting lists. 2004 was the tenth successive year for record house completions - with 76,950 units completed - demonstrating that the government measures introduced in recent years have been successful in boosting the supply of housing to meet the unprecedented demand. House completions in Ireland are at the highest level in Europe in relation to population - around 19 units per 1,000 population.

Doing Business and Doing Good: The Role of Business Ethics
by Séamus Murphy SJ
Down the ages, some currents of thought have seen business as incapable of being honourable, and barely able to be honest, since honest business will always be at a disadvantage in competition with dishonest business. On this view, neither business, banking, investment, profit-making, nor entrepreneurial initiative promote the good of individuals or society. Business ethics is doomed to be at best ineffectual, at worst a sham.

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