Irish Penal Reform Trust

Shifting Focus

Shifting Focus_coverCrime cannot be viewed as a social problem in isolation from deeper social and economic issues. Understanding and responding to offending behaviour is a complex issue. There is no one ‘cause’ and no single solution; consequently one-dimensional approaches are unlikely to produce results.

Currently, the Irish criminal justice system is spending increasing and wasteful amounts of scarce resources with poor results in reducing crime, when modest investments in under-resourced communities would have greater positive effects in reducing offending, as well as producing wider social benefits.

Informed by a shared commitment to combating social injustice, IPRT, Barnardos and IAYPIC came together in 2010 to make the case for a shift in resources from criminal justice to social justice, thereby creating better communities and a safer society for all.

Shifting Focus


  1. Shifting Focus Policy Document
  2. Shifting Focus Conference Programme
  3. From Justice to Welfare - The Case for Investment in Prevention and Early Intervention Research Report


We have been gathering the evidence that prevention and early intervention makes sense here.

Shifting Focus: Conference Papers and Presentations

27th September 2010

Presentations and papers delivered at IPRT's Shifting Focus conference on Thursday 23rd September 2010.

From Justice to Welfare: The Case for Investment in Prevention and Early Intervention

23rd September 2010

A report by Candy Murphy, commissioned by IPRT, Barnardos and IAYPIC, outlining the evidence in favour of shifting resources from the criminal justice system to a system which ensures social justice.

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



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