IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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The Joint Probation Service & Irish Prison Service Strategy: "An Effective Response to Women who Offend"

6th March 2014

The Irish Prison Service and the probation Authority published a joint strategy report on female offenders. This was launched by Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Shatter alongside the Irish Prison Service Annual Report 2013 and the Probation Service Annual Report 2013.

IPRT welcome the recommendations for Cross-functional and joint agency collaboration between the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service to create an integrated offender management programme.

The report recommendations included:

  1. The introduction of female centered options which would include alternatives to custody, resulting in enhanced reintegration and reduced offending.
  2. Understanding that female offenders have very complex needs, e.g. higher rates of mental illness than male offenders. Connecting various agencies would aid many of these difficulties and reduce recidivism.
  3. Development and implementation of a Gender Informed approach to working with Women offenders by increasing awareness that women’s offending is very different to that of men’s. 

In his speech Minister Shatter emphasises the positive work of Tús Nua. "Tús Nua is a residential project for women offenders, managed by DePaul Ireland, and funded by my Department through the Probation Service.  Tús Nua works closely with the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service to support women offenders to reintegrate into the community on their release from custody.  I am pleased to receive the Tús Nua annual report for 2013 and to congratulate them on their achievement of supporting the reintegration of so many women by the provision of accommodation and other support services in a low threshold, female orientated environment." 

You can download the report here