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Ebulletin #60

16th September 2010

In this edition:

  1. Introduction
  2. IPRT Conference 2010
  3. Now Recruiting: one internship position
  4. IPRT in the News – some highlights
  5. Educational Trust
  6. Upcoming Events 

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1. Introduction

Welcome to the eighth ebulletin of 2010! As our conference - Shifting Focus: From Criminal Justice to Social Justice draws ever nearer we are very pleased to report the great response we’ve had, and we very much look forward to seeing the results of all the planning come together in a day which should prove both engaging and challenging. The conference, as you all know by now, takes place on 23rd September, 2010 in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 (see below for further details).

Since out last ebulletin, IPRT has said goodbye to our summer interns, Paul McKeon, Leah Barry and Louise Brangan, and welcomed Judith McGimpsey to the intern team, who will be working with us throughout the remainder of 2010. We have also welcomed back intern Lynsey Black, working with us again in the run-up to our conference. The enthusiasm and commitment that all our interns bring to the work of IPRT is hugely appreciated, and we are currently seeking another intern to work with us from October 2010 - January 2011 (more of which below).

The IPRT Team

Keep up to date on IPRT news and activities between e-bulletins:

W: www.iprt.ie / Tw: www.twitter.com/iprt / Fb: www.facebook.com/irishpenalreformtrust

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 2. IPRT Conference 2010: Shifting Focus - From Criminal Justice to Social Justice

 Date: Thurs 23rd Sept 2010

Time: 9.30am-4.30pm

Venue: Gresham Hotel, 23 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1

IPRT has joined together with Barnardos and IAYPIC (the Irish Association of Young People in Care) to propose a simple, yet fundamental change in policy - from criminal justice, to social justice. The conference highlights the links between social inequality and contact with the criminal justice system, and seeks to find a way to refocus policy on prevention and early intervention in order to break the cycle of disadvantage.

The conference hopes to address three key questions:

  • How can justice policy be more integrated with social policy?
  • What do service providers need to do to persuade policy-makers to invest in long-term prevention and intervention strategies?
  • Can political commitment to long-term prevention strategies be achieved? If so, how?

Some of the speakers appearing at the conference are Prof Lesley McAra of Edinburgh University, Prof Pat Dolan of NUI Galway, Prof Nick Frost of Leeds Metropolitan University, and Dr. Paul O’Mahony of Trinity College, Dublin. It will also be an opportunity to hear from those currently working in intervention programmes throughout the country, providing information from ‘on the ground’ and informing us of their experiences and of what works. Finally, the conference brings together some of Ireland’s best-known political faces for what promises to be a stimulating discussion on how to translate academic into meaningful action.

For updates on the Conference, please visit the IPRT website or contact Mary Gaffney at: info@iprt.ie

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 3. Now Recruiting: one internship position

IPRT is committed to offering internship opportunities throughout the year to students and practitioners interested in, and wanting to contribute to, the work of the organisation. IPRT is now inviting applications for one internship position, to run from Oct 2010 - Jan 2011. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 24th Sept, 2010. Please note that late applications will not be considered. Applications for internships running Feb-June 2011 will be invited in November 2010.

Full details available here: www.iprt.ie/internships

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 4. IPRT in the News - some highlights

  • The Irish Prison Service published its Annual Report 2009 on 6 August. IPRT commented widely on this in the media with our Chairperson, Dr Mary Rogan, featuring on radio station LMFM on 10 August.
  • On 7 August 2010 the Irish Examiner reported that more than half of the people who went to prison last year were locked up for minor offences, including the non-payment of court ordered fines and road traffic offences. IPRT's Liam Herrick warned that the crisis in the penal system is getting out of hand. Liam also featured in another piece in the Irish Times on the same day, where he again emphasised the ineffectiveness of the current system in preventing crime.
  • On 10 August IPRT's Liam was quoted in an article in the Irish Examiner on low level drug dealers that receive long sentences. Liam questioned if the right people were being sent to jail as criminal bosses continue to escape from the law.
  • Public fears surrounding the release of convicted sex offender Larry Murphy featured prominently in the media in August. On 11 August IPRT's Liam was a contributor on RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny programme where he talked about the management of sex offenders. On the same day, Mary Rogan spoke on Dublin's Q102 Scott William's show. On 12 August Mary also spoke on Newtalk's Lunchtime programme. As media attention on Larry Murphy continued, Liam contributed to Newstalk's Lunchtime programme and a discussion on Red FM on the management of convicted sex offenders on 16 August.
  • A number of pieces were published in different newspapers on the release of Larry Murphy. On 13 August the front page of the Irish Examiner asked "Should we have the right to know where this man lives?" and featured Mary Rogan who warned that instead of focusing on the public's right to know, it would be more beneficial to develop strategies for dealing with a complex and sensitive issue. The Irish Independent reported on calls for the monitoring of sex offenders to be strengthened through the use of electronic tagging. IPRT's Mary was quoted in the article emphasising that tagging would never be a substitute for rehabilitation. On 15 August IPRT's Liam was quoted in an article for the Sunday Tribune saying that the media coverage of the Larry Murphy case was taking a "dangerous direction".
  • Several articles also appeared in the newspapers surrounding overcrowding in Irish prisons. On 16 August the Irish Examiner reported on the use of temporary release by prisons in an attempt to ease overcrowding. The article quotes IPRT's Liam questioning the types of people that are being imprisoned: "a lot of them should never have been in prison in the first place". The IPRT's concerns surrounding prison overcrowding in Mountjoy were also reported in an article in the Herald entitled "A prison service on the edge" on 26 August. 
  • Finally, on 7 September IPRT's Liam featured on Newstalk with Sean Moncrieff.

For links to our media activities, see: www.iprt.ie/iprt-in-the-news

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5. Educational Trust

The Educational Trust is seeking applications from former prisoners and immediate family members for small grants to assist with the cost of education and training. For further information contact: educationaltrust1@gmail.com

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6. Upcoming Events

  • On 22 September, the Controversial Issues in Prison Symposium takes place at the University of Lancashire, England.
  • On 23 September IPRT will be holding its conference Shifting Focus: From Criminal Justice to Social Justice in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. For more information see here.
  • From 10-13 October 2010 the 16th National Symposium on Juvenile Services takes place in San Antonio, Texas. For more information see here.
  • On 15 October the ACJRD will be holding its thirteenth annual conference focusing on Women in the Criminal Justice System. This one day conference will take place in the Camden Court Hotel, Dublin 2. For more information see here.
  • On 9-10 November 2010 the International Juvenile Justice Observatory will hold the fourth edition of its International Conference in the city of Rome, Italy, in partnership with the Istituto Don Calabria, entitled Building integrative juvenile justice systems: Approaches and methodologies regarding mental disorders and drugs misuse. For more information see here.
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