Irish Penal Reform Trust

Oireachtas Seminar on Smart Investment (Budget 2011)

2nd December 2010

Senator Ivana Bacik hosted the fifth seminar for the All Party Oireachtas Penal Reform Group of TDs and Senators on 2nd December, 2010 in Leinster House. This seminar explored how smart investment now can make greater savings in the longer-term in social and economic cost.

Speakers were:

  • Prof. Tony Fahey of UCD School of Applied Social Science
  • Dr. John Canavan of NUI Galway

Speaking in advance of the seminar, IPRT Exucitve Director Liam Herrick said:

“Currently, the Irish criminal justice system is spending increasing and wasteful amounts of scarce resources with poor results, when modest investments in under-resourced communities would have greater positive effects in reducing offending, as well as producing wider social benefits. International cost-benefit analyses support this, as reflected in the recent shifts in UK Government policy.

"Put simply: investing in children is of far greater social and economic benefit to the State than investing in prison-building.  At the same time, when all areas of public spending are under intense scrutiny there is a real danger that short-term spending cuts are approved without fully considering the longer term social and economic costs of those cuts.”

Download the IPRT Submission to Budget 2011 'Spending Cuts and Crime Implications' by clicking on the icon above.

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



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