Irish Penal Reform Trust

Spent Convictions

Securing employment or training, and the ability to rebuild a life after committing an offence, is crucial to breaking the cycle of offending. Effective spent convictions legislation has a major role to play in removing barriers to the reintegration of former offenders and prisoners who have demonstrated that they have moved on from past offending behaviour.

For information on whether the Spent Convictions legislation signed into law in February and commenced end April 2016 applies to you, please see Citizens Information. If this does not answer your question, please contact the Department of Justice - contact details here.

With thanks to SpunOut.ie we have produced a short information video on Spent Convictions (for convictions received for offences committed over 18). We have also produced an easy-to-read information sheet on spent convictions.

For questions about the Garda Vetting 'Admin Filter', please contact the Garda Central Vetting Unit.

IPRT has been campaigning for robust and extensive Spent Convictions legislation to be introduced in Ireland since 2007. You can read all about our work and recent developments below.

Offences committed under age 18?

Under Section 258 of the Children Act 2001, offences committed by those under eighteen years of age can be expunged from the record once certain conditions are met. See here.

With thanks to SpunOut.ie, we also have a short information video on Expungement of Convictions (for convictions received for offences committed under 18). We have also produced an easy-to-read information sheet on expungement of convictions.

UK: ‘Angels or Witches’ The Impact of Criminal Records on Women

8th March 2021

The report considers the post-conviction problems faced by women with criminal records.

Justice Plan 2021 and Department of Justice Strategy Statement 2021-2023

22nd February 2021

Justice Plan 2021 is the first of a series of annual plans which the Minister will introduce to drive reforms across the Justice Sector. Each year, the Plan will be updated with new actions and timelines for delivery. IPRT welcomes this transparency.

UK: Implementation of changes to criminal record filtering

19th November 2020

In July 2020, progressive changes to the filtering rules in England and Wales were announced by the government. These changes are expected to come into effect on 28 November 2020.

Civil society submissions to the public consultation on spent convictions

16th November 2020

IPRT has gathered a selection of the submissions made by other organisations to the Department of Justice public consultation on spent convictions policy.

In the news: IPRT submission on spent convictions

9th November 2020

A summary of IPRT's presence in the media following our submission to the Department of Justice on the open consultation on spent convictions policy.

Rehabilitated offenders need opportunity of fresh start - IPRT statement

9th November 2020

MEDIA ADVISORY: In response to a public consultation on the issue of spent convictions, IPRT is making legal proposals aimed at broadening the applicability of the scheme.

IPRT Submission to the Public Consultation on Spent Convictions

9th November 2020

IPRT's submission argues that the current spent convictions regime is too narrow and lacks proportionality. Core to the spirit of rehabilitation is the principle that any person who has demonstrated their commitment to move on from offending through the completion of a conviction-free period should be able to benefit.

Scotland: Criminal record disclosure reforms

20th October 2020

In order to reduce barriers to reintegration for people who have demonstrated a move away from past offending, a series of progressive changes to the disclosure of criminal records will come into effect in Scotland from 30th November.

Department of Justice Research Papers on Spent Convictions

16th October 2020

As part of its ongoing public consultation on spent convictions policy , the Department of Justice has published two research papers on spent convictions . The papers were authored by Dr Katharina...

Spent convictions consultation demonstrates a commitment by Government to supporting rehabilitation

6th October 2020

MEDIA ADVISORY: IPRT has described the launch of a public consultation on spent convictions by Minister for Justice Ms Helen McEntee TD as an opportunity to promote and support rehabilitation and reduce reoffending.

Prison Reform Trust and Unlock: ‘Thinking Differently: Employer’s views on hiring people convicted of sexual offences’

14th September 2020

UK charities Unlock and The Prison Reform Trust have published ‘Thinking Differently: Employer’s views on hiring people convicted of sexual offences’, a report based on two surveys regarding the employment of those previously convicted of sexual offences.

‘Our Shared Future’ – Draft Programme for Government 2020+

15th June 2020

IPRT strongly welcomes many of the proposals in the draft Programme for Government. In particular, we welcome that the document reflects all of the five recommendations IPRT campaigned on in advance of the 2020 General Election.

Joint Committee on Justice and Equality Publish report on Spent Convictions (Oct 2019)

22nd November 2019

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality held a public hearing in July 2019 on the issue of spent convictions. IPRT gave evidence as a witness in this hearing and the final report and recommendations were published in October 2019.

Developing Youth Justice - 21st November

21st November 2019

The Irish Penal Reform Trust and the Irish Criminal Bar Association will host a youth justice event focused on 18-24 year olds on Thursday 21st Nov 2019 in the Distillery Building.

Rehabilitative Periods Bill returns to Seanad at Committee Stage

19th November 2019

The Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018 (PMB) returns to the Seanad on Wednesday 20th November 2019 at 530pm. IPRT's analysis is that the Bill should be strengthened in order to fulfill its rehabilitative goals.

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

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