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Sunday Tribune: Sex offenders 'a greater risk if not housed'

10th June 2010

In an article in the Sunday Tribune, Ken Foxe, Public Affairs Correspondent, talks to Vivian Geiran, deputy director of the Probation Service about the issues that surround the securing of accommodation for high-risk sex offenders on their release from prison.

Foxe reports that Geiran believes that "forcing serious sex offenders out of supervised accommodation and on to the streets where they live unmonitored creates a far greater risk for the community" and that "driving these offenders underground only increased the danger of them repeating their crimes."

The article follows recent news coverage of a High Court case taken by sex offender Michael Murray in an attempt to stop media organisations from pursuing him, "claiming he cannot live anywhere, because as soon as he moves, newspapers reveal his address and print pictures of him."

Geiran states clearly that: "Our focus is on public protection, reducing the likelihood of reoffending, and one of the critical factors in all of that is stable accommodation." This is echoed in the new IPRT report "It's like stepping on a landmine..." - Reintegration of Prisoners in Ireland.

In the Tribune article, Geiran outlines clearly that the chance of reoffending is drastically increased where sex offenders are forced to start moving around, as monitoring becomes impossible. He also poins out that the number of very high-risk individuals for whom very structured supported accommodation is needed, "is less than what you can count on your hands." He finishes with:

"What we are trying to do is the only game in town. There is not really another option. We cannot afford to allow for a situation where just because we didn't bother, that further victimisation or [repeat] crime happens."

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