News and Press Releases
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The launch of a new website will provide a much needed resource for all who are interested in the courts and the Irish justice system in general. Irishsentencing.ie is a free online database which contains details on judgments, academic articles pertaining to sentencing, as well as statistics on custodial sentences and other penalties handed down.
It is hoped that the website will be an asset to judges by providing information on sentences from previous cases. In addition, the database will be a valuable tool for researchers and academics with an interest in the courts and criminal justice system.
The database is the result of a four year project which was established by the Board for Court Services and headed up the Steering Committee. One member of the Committee, Tom O'Malley, spoke recently about sentencing at the IPRT Open Forum.
Although most prisoners hope to be ‘out for good’ upon their release, reconviction rates show that around half will have reoffended and been sentenced again within a year. Many of these will return to custody.
This study conducted by the Prison Reform Trust gathered the views of prison governors and staff, prisoners, voluntary sector providers and others. The aim was to determine what is necessary to achieve successful resettlement post-release.
The study concluded that in order for resettlement to be effective, prisoners must be involved. The promotion of personal responsibility by motivating prisoners to make decisions about how to resolve the practical problems they will face on release is essential.
The report, published 5th September 2012, notes that specific obstacles to taking responsibility included a restricted prison regime, a lack of support from prison staff, and ineffective or inadequate resources or services.
The full report is available here.