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Conference: "Shifting Focus - From Criminal Justice to Social Justice"

15th September 2010

Using evidence-based policy to build better and safer communities

Instead of throwing increasing amounts of taxpayers’ money at an ineffective prison system, we should be investing in communities by way of prevention and early intervention strategies, addressing the marginalization associated with offending behaviour, and thereby reducing crime.

This is the core message which the Irish Penal Reform Trust, Barnardos and IAYPIC (Irish Association of Young People in Care) will deliver by way of a 1-day Conference, Shifting Focus: From Criminal Justice to Social Justice, on Thursday 23rd Sept, 2010 in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell St, Dublin 1.

The event will bring together leading experts to examine the connections between social policy and crime, identify the gaps for effective interventions, and present best practice examples of evaluated prevention and intervention programmes. We will then put it to a cross-party panel of politicians to tell us how our proposal can be translated into meaningful political action.

The panellists are Sen. Dan Boyle (Green), Mary O’Rourke TD (FF), Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD (SF), Pat Rabbitte TD (Lab) andAlan Shatter TD (FG).

Speakers include: Prof Lesley McAra, Chair of Penology in the School of Law, University of Edinburgh; Prof. Pat Dolan, Director of the Child and Family Research Centre in NUI, Galway; Prof Nick Frost, Professor of Social Work (Childhood, children and families), Leeds Metropolitan University; and Dr. Paul O’Mahony, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin.

Organisations that will present include: Barnardos, IAYPIC, Incredible Years (Archways), Families First, Jigsaw youngballymun, Catholic Youth Care and An Garda Siochána.

Shifting Focus: From Criminal Justice to Social Justice takes place on Thursday 23rd September, from 9.30am-4.30pm, in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell St, Dublin 1.

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Fíona Ní Chinnéide, Campaigns & Communications Officer, Irish Penal Reform Trust
T: + 353 1 874 1400 E: communications@iprt.ie


  1. Shifting Focus: From Criminal Justice to Social Justice
    This 1-day conference takes place on Thursday 23rd Sept, 2010 (9.30 to 4.30) in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell St, Dublin 1. 
    More details available here; Conference Programme available here.
  2. Irish Penal Reform Trust | www.iprt.ie
    The Irish Penal Reform Trust is Ireland’s leading NGO campaigning for the rights of everyone in the penal system. We campaign for the use of detention as a last resort and for the progressive reform of penal policy in Ireland. IPRT has long argued that prisoners cannot be treated in isolation from the communities from which they come and to which they return, and that penal policy must be connected up to relevant policies in the health and social sphere.
  3. Barnardos | www.barnardos.ie
    Barnardos' vision is an Ireland where childhood is valued and all children and young people are cherished equally. Barnardos' mission is to challenge and support families, communities, society and government to make Ireland the best place in the world to be a child, focusing specifically on children and young people whose well-being is under threat. Barnardos has over 42 projects working directly with children and families throughout the country.
  4. Irish Association of Young People in Care | www.iaypic.org
    IAYPIC is an independent association that works with children and young people who are currently in care or have experience of living in care. IAYPIC’s mission is to: advocate at a national and local level for the rights of young people with care experience; organise and amplify the voices of young people with care experience; and to base our advocacy on meaningful engagement with young people, documented data and commissioned research.
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