IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Election 2011: Are you committed to the Spent Convictions Bill?

15th February 2011

IPRT is putting four key questions to candidates in the run up to Election 2011. One critical question aims to secure a commitment from politicians to place priority on passing the Spent Convictions Bill this year.

IPRT is now asking all its members and allies to ask their local TD’s and party canvassers:

4. Are you committed to the Spent Convictions Bill? Will you make it a priority?

Ireland is the only European country which does not provide for any system of expungement of spent convictions (so-called ‘second chance legislation’). This means that even minor convictions can remain a permanent barrier to employment:

  • Employment is proven to be one of the biggest factors in desistance from crime and reoffending.
  • The proposed Spent Convictions Bill, published by the outgoing Government, received cross-party support.
  • The legislation is ready for re-introduction to the Oireachtas, following considerable work by the Dept of Justice and Law Reform officials.
  • We need to ensure that this is a political priority for a new Government and that a revised Bill is enacted in the first session of the new Oireachtas.

We need your help. It would be great if you too could ask the question of your local candidates – remember, you don’t have to express any personal investment in the legislation to ask the question!

And if you get any commitments/any answers, please let us know so that we can hold them to account after the election!