Irish Penal Reform Trust

Rehabilitative Periods Bill returns to Seanad at Committee Stage

19th November 2019

The Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018 (PMB) is scheduled for Committee debate on Wednesday 20th November 2019 at 530pm.

IPRT welcomes many of the provisions in the Bill. However, our analysis (available here) is that the Bill would benefit from strengthening in order to fulfil its rehabilitative goals.

The Joint Committee on Justice and Equality has also welcomed the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018, tabled by Senator Ruane, and recommended that the Bill be “expanded further to better achieve its rehabilitative aims”. (See Report on Spent Convictions, Oct 2019, here.)

IPRT’s view is that current spent convictions legislation, Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016, is so limited that it fails to meet its rehabilitative purpose. This was also the view of the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality in its Report on Penal Reform and Sentencing (May 2018).

The Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018 is an opportunity to make a real difference for people in Ireland. If is strengthened in line with IPRT's proposals, it will help support people who have served their punishment and who have moved away from offending pasts to move on with their lives.

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

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