A strategic goal of IPRT is to promote reform of Irish sentencing practice in a number of key areas.
Our starting point is that imprisonment itself causes a number of serious social harms, therefore imprisonment should only be used sparingly at the point of sentencing and the numbers in prison should be reduced.
As a key strategic goal for IPRT, we aim to promote the embedding and extension of the principle that detention should only be used as a last resort, while remaining committed to retaining and supporting the principles of proportionality and judicial independence in sentencing.
IPRT believes that mandatory and presumptive sentencing regimes are not effective. By removing or restricting judicial discretion, it denies the courts of the opportunity to choose sentences which are fair, proportionate and that reflect all the relevant circumstances of specific cases.
We also advocate for publication of sentencing data and analysis of this data. In practice, we believe that greater transparency in sentencing can be achieved, as well as better coordination between sentencing authorities and other agencies on the penal system.
21st June 2010
The Prison Governors Association, Napo (probation officers' union) and the Howard League have today called on the government to end its £4 billion prison building programme, and to instead increase the use of community sanctions.
24th May 2010
The numbers being processed through the Drug Treatment Court are to be expanded following a review which shows that the scheme has reduced reoffending rates.
16th March 2010
After nearly a year, the Fines Bill has been passed by the Dail and has gone to the Seanad for its approval. It is hoped that the draft legislation will become law by the summer.
10th March 2010
A new report by the National Audit Office in the UK highlights the social and economic cost of short sentences.
10th March 2010
The reduction of the prison population is the focus of two US reports.
1st March 2010
A short document outlining amendments to the Fines Bill 2009, necessary to ensure that imprisonment is used only as a last resort for fine default.
19th February 2010
Chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police, David Strang, calls for a radical change in way the system as a whole works to prevent crime rather than simply mop up the aftermath.
8th February 2010
Following a recent high profile-case, sentencing is back in the media spotlight
1st February 2010
The issue of mandatory sentencing for burglary was the subject of RTE's 'The Frontline' this week; IPRT's Liam Herrick and others voice their opposition to such moves.
9th June 2009
Locking up prisoners for short periods of six months or less could endanger public safety, according to prison chiefs in Scotland. (The Carrick Gazette)