12th December 2011
Liam Herrick discusses what works in tackling crime and making society safer on thejournal.ie:
"Over the past twenty years (possibly even longer) there has been a destructive drift towards ‘common sense’ and posturing policies on crime, and away from cold evidence of what actually works in making communities safer. The growth of our prison system – which has doubled in size in the last 14 years – is just one symptom of this problem, but more widely the tone of justice policy discussion started to deteriorate from the moment John O’Donoghue, then Minister for Justice, started to talk about “zero tolerance” in the mid-1990s.
From that point, being seen to be tough on crime became more important than actually focusing on what was likely to work in reducing crime. In a time of prosperity, with an apparent surplus of public funds with which to play populist politics, successive Governments ploughed ahead with prison expansion – and with putting in place the laws and policies to fill those prisons."
Read the column in full on thejournal.ie here: Long jail terms don’t work in tackling crime – no matter what ‘common sense’ says