On 31st March, the IPRT Oireachtas Seminar on Community Sanctions took place, bringing together those in the know and those with the power, a meeting of academia and politics.
The seminar was chaired by long-time IPRT supporter Senator Ivana Bacik, speaking at the event were Prof Ian O'Donnell of UCD, and Dr Mairead Seymour of DIT.
Barriers to the effective use of community sanctions were identified as a politicisation of criminal justice policies, the politics of fear, a lack of investment in alternatives to custody and judicial reluctance to apply such sentences.
Dr Seymour and Prof O'Donnell spoke about the counter-productive use of short-term sentences, the cost comparisons of prison and community sanctions and the fact that this debate has been ongoing for decades. To read the texts of the presentations, click on the links above.