IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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RTE 'Drivetime': Resignation of Governor of Dóchas Centre

27th April 2010

IPRT Executive Director Liam Herrick spoke to RTE's 'Drivetime' on the issue of women in prison, thrown into the news again by the resignation of the Dóchas Centre's Kathleen McMahon.

Arguing that there was no 'political ownership of this issue', Liam stressed that while prisons were duty bound to accept committals, the Minister for Justice was capable of reforming the system so that fewer people are sent to prison in the first case, and he cited the current Fines Bill as a sign that the situation was not inevitable, and could be revolutionised by the introduction of the appropriate legislation.

Advocating the use of community supervision for many female offenders, Liam said that 30% of female prisoners were there on remand, and highlighted the over-use of short-term sentences and the habit of imprisonment for many non-violent offences.

Listen to Tuesday 27th's 'Drivetime' here (scroll to 18 minutes and 30 seconds).

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