Labour seeks swift action from Justice Minister to address excessive rates of reoffending

11 January 2023

Recidivism stand at 62% within three years of leaving prison

Labour justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called on Minister for Justice, Simon Harris to take swift action to combat the excessive rate of reoffending in Ireland.

In a letter to Minister for Justice, Simon Harris, Deputy Ó Ríordáin highlighted the most recent CSO statistics which saw a recidivism rate of 62% within three years of a person being released from prison.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said: “This figure does not compare well internationally and is higher than most of our EU counterparts. The justice system should be seen to support an ex-prisoner to the greatest extent possible in order to minimise the potential for that individual to re-offend. It can’t be of any benefit to society or indeed to the offender themselves to be in and out of the court system and prison system so regularly.

“One of the practical solutions would be to locate an office of the Probation Service within the Criminal Courts of Justice so that the interface with the service can become part of the one court experience and model. Currently individuals can be waiting anywhere from two to four months to receive a letter from the Probation service who are clearly under-resourced. That initial two-month period is crucial in providing support and options to a person at risk of re-offending.

He added: “We believe the location of an office of the Probation Service within the criminal courts around the country could make the difference in many lives. Such a practical step would make access to the Probation Service easier and increase the likelihood of success.”

Full CSO report here

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