I attended a forum today on the recently published Department of Justice document on the Management of Sex Offenders.
It was very heartening to see what seems to be a real attempt at genuine engagement with interested parties and academic research. It bodes well for the future development of penal policy.
My main thought on the process can be summed up in one word: courage. The Department and Minister need to be courageous in their approach to this issue and resist the temptation to cave in or cavil to uninformed comment and inevitable criticism. Political leadership is as important as evidence-based practice.
Here’s a link to an RTE news bulletin on the forum: http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0326/abuse.html
And to an interesting piece on Primetime: http://www.rte.ie/news/primetime/
The document can be found here: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PB09000022 and submissions to the Working Group are encouraged, with April 30 the deadline.