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 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, 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.

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.

IPRT Presentation to the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality on Spent Convictions

10th July 2019

IPRT appeared before the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality to give evidence as part of the Committee’s review of spent convictions legislation.

Oireachtas Briefing on the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018

12th February 2019

Senator Lynn Ruane hosted an Oireachtas Briefing in advance of Seanad Second Stage debate of the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018.

IPRT Briefing on Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018 [PMB]

7th February 2019

A short briefing outlining the amendments the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018, if passed, would make to the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016.

IPRT survey demonstrates need for expanded rehabilitation law

5th February 2019

ADVISORY: IPRT responds to the launch of the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018 [PMB] by Senator Lynn Ruane.

Has having a criminal conviction affected you?

1st February 2019

The survey is now closed.

UK: Supreme Court finds criminal records disclosure regime in breach of ECHR

29th January 2019

The UK Supreme Court has found that two aspects of the criminal records disclosure regime in England and Wales are in breach of Article 8 ECHR.

IPRT Submission to the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission Consultation on Strategy Statement 2019-2021

8th October 2018

In this submission, IPRT outlines the need for the extension of the current grounds for protection against discrimination and the addition of a ‘social origin’ and/or ‘socio-economic status’ ground.

US: Workers with Criminal Records

29th August 2018

A survey was conducted in the US on HR professionals, managers and non-managers to assess their attitudes and policies regarding the hiring of people with previous convictions.

Information on: Spent Convictions and Expungement of Convictions

20th November 2017

IPRT has launched two information sheets entitled 'Information on: Spent Convictions' and 'Information on: Expungement of Convictions'.

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



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