This week, Ireland AM featured a discussion on the need to reduce the prisoner population of Ireland over time. There are currently over 4,500 people incarcerated in Ireland, at a cost of about €77,000 per prisoner per year.
Liam Herrick of the IPRT argues that many of those incarcerated would be more effectively and affordably punished outside the prison system, in community programs for education, rehabilitation, and health treatment. John O’Keefe joins in the discussion, emphasizing that even in community programmes, the state’s approach to punishment must be “robust” to be effective. Both agree that public safety is the utmost concern, discussing how best to monitor prisoners released in the future.
Watch the program here.