IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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NGO Submission to the Cross Grade Working Group of the Consultation of The Statement of Strategy for The Department of Justice and Equality

13th September 2016

IPRT welcomed the invitation from the Department of Justice and Equality for written submissions in relation to the Statement of Strategy 2016-2019. This submission is divided into two parts.

Part A. Identifies 8 overarching proposals for inclusion. Part B. Addresses specific areas identified in the Programme for Partnership relevant to our work.

View the submission here.

Part A. 8 overarching proposals for inclusion:

  • Proposal 1: Recognition of the centrality of human rights and equality duties for all those involved in the justice system should be placed front and centre of this strategy.
  • Proposal 2: Include a clear statement of the purpose and objectives of criminal justice policy as a whole which focuses on rehabilitation, reintegration and reducing offending and underscores a commitment to innovative and evidence-informed policy.
  • Proposal 3: Include an action to implement the recommendations of the Report of the Strategic Review of Penal Policy.
  • Proposal 4: Include an action to implement the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality Report on Penal Reform 2013.
  • Proposal 5: Include an action to create an integrated and cross-departmental mechanism for the implementation of both Inspector of Prisons recommendations and UN “concluding observations” and recommendations and regularly publish progress made on each of them.
  • Proposal 6: Include an action to create an integrated and cross-departmental mechanism for the timely sharing of key ECHR jurisprudence and CPT recommendations with relevant stakeholders, specifying clear actions to be taken on foot of these, directing persons responsible and timelines for implementation.
  • Proposal 7: Include a direct action/outcome on the transfer of all children from Wheatfield Place of Detention to Oberstown Child Detention School.
  • Proposal 8: Include a specific objective to ratify OPCAT in advance of Ireland’s next hearing before the UN Committee Against Torture, scheduled for July 2017.

Part B. Specific areas identified in the Programme for Partnership relevant to our work:

  • “Tougher” sentences? Or more effective (and cost effective) Sanctions?;
  • Reform Bail;
  • Strengthen supervision/invest in rehabilitation and reintegration;
  • Strengthen clarity and consistency in sentencing;
  • Expand Spent Convictions legislation;
  • Strengthen accountability.
Learn more