An article in today's Irish Examiner highlights the work of Bobby Cummines, who is the Chief Executive of UNLOCK, a national offender charity that aims to eradicate the discrimination against offenders by helping them out of offending and into training and gainful employment.
The article highlights the upcoming Spent Convictions Bill which is due to be published by Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, this coming summer. If passed, the bill will allow ex-offenders 'wipe the slate clean' when they haven't re-offended after a certain amount of time.
Mr. Cummines supports the spent convictions legislation saying:
"If you commit a crime you should serve a sentence for that crime, but what’s happening is that the sentence is carrying on when you come out and that’s not right,"
"If we don’t welcome [offenders] back into our society, there is another society that will welcome them back with open arms and that’s the criminal society."
Mr.Cummines was a keynote speaker at last night's IPRT open forum on Spent Convictions.
While the Bill will allow offenders who have committed minor crimes to access employment and training, IPRT believe that it should go further so to allow people who have served longer sentences to have the opportunity to change also.