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Sub Committee on Penal Reform IASIO press release

Sub Committee on Penal Reform IASIO press release

“IASIO has done very valuable work on re-integrating offenders – more than 15,000 people have been referred to their criminal justice programmes, and more than 6,000 people have been successfully placed in training, education and employment.”
These are findings from a report on Penal Reform which was launched by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality early today, Wednesday, 27th March. The aim of the report is to make a series of recommendations for improving the penal system.IASIO, the Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders welcomes the findings of this report as a positive step forward and were grateful to the chair, Mr. David Stanton, TD, and the sub-committee for the opportunity to make a submission to the committee. The report acknowledges and supports IASIO’s advocacy for change. It highlights the importance of adequate funding and of making rehabilitative programmes such as education and training accessible to prisoners and ex-offenders.
In the report IASIO advocates the rolling out of the community return programme pilot across the entire prison system, for all prisoners serving sentences of between 1-5 years in length. Eligible prisoners could be diverted to the very successful ’Community Return’ pilot programme, compulsory mental health programmes, or drug treatment programmes, while those convicted of less serious driving offences could be released to a ‘safer driving’ course. Furthermore the report references IASIO’s recommendation to introduce a prison-based resettlement support initiative for prisoners serving short-term sentences of 6-12 months. It recommends investigation of a drug treatment and testing sanction in Scotland and the Finnish model of conditional and unconditional imprisonment, as models which could potentially work in Ireland.

Finally the report acknowledges IASIO’s call to carry out a mapping service of all in-reach services available to all prisons across the country.
IASIO welcomes the opportunity to offer our support for this important document and eagerly anticipates the implementation of each of its recommendations.

 IASIO is a non-profit organisation specialising in the life planning, support and social inclusion of people with criminal convictions.

IASIO has successfully assisted over 17,000 offenders to gain education, training, employment and resettlement support since each of the Services began.

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