• Real Love Challenges Vested Interests

    peter mcverry 1Pope Francis, in everything he says and does, takes the side of the poor and marginalised over and against the wealthy and powerful. He challenges the global structures which deny many their basic human rights and maintain people in their poverty and suffering, while enriching the few, says Peter McVerry SJ. 

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  • Will Francis Comment on Neoliberalism?

    pope moneyPope Francis’ visit to Ireland is a cause of excitement to many and dismay to others. Beneath the flurry of events associated with the World Meeting of Families and the simmering controversy around protests, his visit is an opportunity to reflect on one of the major emphases of his papacy, says Kevin Hargaden.

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  • Prisoner Amnesty for Papal Visit

    pope prisonersEoin Carroll's article in the Irish Times looks back to the arrival of John Paul II in 1979, when 76 prisoners were granted early release, and questions why there is no mention of an amnesty to coincide with the visit of Pope Francis.

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  • Safe Spaces For Young People in Prison

    youth day 2018The theme of International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth, something that resonates strongly with the work in prison and penal reform that the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice is involved in. The centre has long been an advocate for changes in the prison system for young adults, whom we view as a discrete demographic group, worthy of particular consideration.

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About the Centre

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice works to combat injustice and marginalisation in Irish society, through social analysis, education and advocacy.

The Centre highlights complex social issues, informs opinion and advocates for governmental policy change to create a fair and equitable society for all.

Analysis on our Key Issues

People in prison are amongst the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. The majority have left school early, experience literacy and learning difficulties and have a history of unemployment... Click here to view all of our material on Penal Policy

Environmental protection has emerged as a key element of social justice debates in recent decades... Click here to view all of our material on Environmental Justice

The right to a safe and secure place to live is one of the most basic human rights, it is fundamental to enable people to live a dignified life... Click here to view all of our material on Housing Policy

In our political discourse, every question of human flourishing seems to be reduced to bottom-line thinking. This focus on riches impoverishes our shared discourse and has serious negative consequences for society Click here to view material on Economic Justice

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice focuses on a number of other issues... Explore all here

Our Journal

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Exploring Social Justice

Why Care - Social Justice Awareness for Younger People

Solitary Confinement Should Be Last Resort - Committee Against Torture

Committee Against Torture CAT Concluding ObservationsThe UN Committee Against Torture has published its concluding observations from the second periodic review of Ireland, which took place in July. The examination, by ten independent human rights experts, was to assess Ireland's adherence to the United Nations 'Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment'.

The Committee expressed concern that the State has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention (OPCAT)e Convention (OPCAT), a decade after signing it and that this has prevented the establishment of a national preventive mechanism for independent monitoring of places of deprivation of liberty, and recommended that this be rectified forthwith.

It also recommended that the existing bodies that monitor places of detention continue to be allowed to make 'repeated and unannounced' visits to them, and that their reports are heeded and acted on.

The report outlined the Committee's concern about two areas in which the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has been advocating for change - overcrowding in women's prisons, and the use of extended lock-up, or solitary confinement.

It was noted that the overall prison population is decreasing, but that the number of women in detention has continued to rise, with overcrowding a concern in the Dóchas Centre for women and in female (and male) wards in Limerick prison. It was recommended that the State continue to strengthen the measures in place to reduce overcrowding in prisons, to bring the conditions of detention into line with the Mandela rules (The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners).

The use of solitary confinement for prolonged periods, and as a disciplinary measure also a cause for concern, as was the 'poor regime' under which prisoners are protection are held, having almost no contact with the outside world. The committee recommended that solitary confinement only be used as a last resort, never on juveniles and not for prolonged periods.

Read the full report here

Posted in Criminality, Prisons and Justice News

Tags: Prison,, Committee Against Torture, Penal Reform

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