The Irish Prison Service is conducting a market sounding exercise in order to assess the level of interest and engagement from suitable operators for a proposed café facility in Dublin.
The café, if progressed, would be set up in the former waiting room of St Patrick's Institution, and would be staffed by ex-prisoners, people on probation sanctions and those who have had difficulty securing work due to their criminal record. This is a welcome initiative that will offer employment, training, and continuing professional development to people with convictions.
IPRT Executive Director Deirdre Malone spoke to Newstalk about the initiative:
"This type of initiative is common in other countries – including in our nearest neighbour, the UK – it has been recognised as a really positive way to promote the further education training and employment of people coming out of prison."
“The ultimate aim of that is to reduce re-offending and also to ensure that people have stable and secure employment.”
The tender document, published online by the IPS, is available here for any interested operators. The deadline for expressions of interest in the project is September 7th.
- Newstalk: Dublin in line for "prison themed" café run by former offenders
- Herald.ie: It's Fair Trade - prison-themed cafe planned to employ ex-cons
- The Clink Charity (UK): The Clink Restaurants