Irish Penal Reform Trust ‘Almost all women in Irish prisons are there for committing petty crime’

23rd April 2019

Comment from IPRT Executive Director Fíona Ní Chinnéide featured an article in focusing on the challenges facing female prisoners. The article, based on an 8-month long DCU journalism research project, interviewed actors on the ground such as Governor of the Dóchas Centre, Mary O’Connor and Senior Probation Officer, David Williamson; experts in the field such as Dr Christina Quinlan and Joanna Joyce; and civil society organisations such as IPRT and Care After Prison.

The common thread running through all contributions was that the current system of imprisonment of women, is not effective. A lack of alternatives to short-term imprisonment, including community services orders suitable for female offenders, often means that both of Ireland’s female prisons are regularly well over capacity. Other challenges often faced by women detailed in the article include: experience of homelessness, both before and after prison; lack of access to treatment for addiction, particularly for women with children; the comparatively high percentage of women being held on remand; lack of consistency in sentencing; and the lack of inter-agency working to develop gender-specific responses.

IPRT research on Women in the Criminal Justice System from 2013 was also cited in the article.

To read the article in full on the website, click here.

For more on women in the criminal justice system in Ireland, see here.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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