Reintegration of Offenders

IPRT promotes rehabilitation and social integration as central concerns of Irish penal policy.

Incarceration often damages the prisoner’s social functioning, therefore contributing to his or her return to offending following release. Studies have shown that imprisonment has a damaging effect on the mental health of the prisoners, and can impair the ability to function in the outside world; prisoners can become institutionalised and therefore unable to live outside of the prison environment.

Imprisonment also carries with it profound negative social impacts on the prisoner’s family and on his or her community, and often the consequences of even a short period of imprisonment are permanent for both the prisoner and those close to him. Research has shown that those communities to which most ex-prisoners return are those characterised by high levels of deprivation and least able to cope with their re-entry. IPRT believes that imprisonment can exacerbate such difficulties within such communities.

In this context, IPRT believes that appropriate preparation for release and post-release support play an important role in the successful return of former prisoners to their families, communities and the wider society. Two elements should always be considered: preparation during the course of the sentence (‘sentence-planning’) and coordinated support post-release. Preparation for release while still in prison should consider not only equipping prisoners with essential skills (such as work skills), but should also include making connections with the prisoner’s family and/or community outside of the prison environment, for example through the use of periods of temporary release.

IPRT believes that post-release support is crucial in the successful re-integration, and should link the former prisoner not only with potential employment opportunities but also with appropriate services in the community, for example with mental health services or substance abuse support groups. It should also consider support for prisoners’ families.

Today FM: Housing of Sex Offenders 6th July 2010

Following the passing of a motion by Wicklow County Council to remove convicted sex offenders from the local authority housing list, Liam Herrick of IPRT joined Cllr Tom Fortune and Matt Cooper on Today FM's 'The Last Word'. Read more

Irish Times: Where the revolving door stops 5th July 2010 YouTube

A back-to-work course for former prisoners is bucking the trend of recidivism, writes Roisín Ingle in the 'Irish Times'. Trasna, a year-long back-to-work course, is designed to make former prisoners job ready... Read more

Irish Times: 'Public's right to know trumps privacy rights' 21st June 2010

Carol Coulter reports in 'The Irish Times' on a High Court judgment that ruled in favour of freedom of expression over an individual's right to privacy. Read more

Sunday Tribune: Sex offenders 'a greater risk if not housed' 10th June 2010

In an article in the 'Sunday Tribune', Ken Foxe, Public Affairs Correspondent, talks to Vivian Geiran, deputy director of the Probation Service about the issues that surround the securing of accommodation for high-risk sex offenders on their release from prison. Read more

Oireachtas Seminar on Reintegration of Offenders 2nd June 2010

A summary of IPRT's Oireachtas Seminar dealing with Spent Convictions, and other critical supports of the reintegration of offenders. Read more

Irish Examiner: Calls for better services to stop convicts reoffending 26th May 2010

The launch of IPRT's Report on Reintegration of Prisoners in Ireland covered in the Irish Examiner. Read more

Irish Times: 60% of prisoners likely to reoffend, says report 25th May 2010

IPRT highlights the need for a greater commitment to the reintegration of prisoners. Read more

“It’s like stepping on a landmine…” - Reintegration of Prisoners in Ireland 24th May 2010

This report from IPRT assesses the current provision of reintegration services and support for prisoners before and after their release from prison, identifies key systemic failures, and makes 14 clear recommendations for necessary improvements. Read more

REPORT ON REINTEGRATION OF PRISONERS IN IRELAND 21st May 2010 PDF documents

IPRT are launching a new research report "It's like stepping on a landmine..." - Report on Reintegration of Prisoners in Ireland. The report assesses the current provision of reintegration services and support for prisoners on release from prison, identifies key systemic failures, and makes 14 recommendations for necessary improvements. Read more

Irish Times: Parents behind bars 18th May 2010

As Ireland’s prison population grows, more children are having to cope with the stigma and loneliness of a parent in jail, writes Sheila Wayman in 'The Irish Times'. Read more

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