Re-imagining the role of prison in Irish society

The 2009 AGM of the Irish Penal Reform Trust will take place on Thursday 18th June, 2009 at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

As part of the event, IPRT will host an inclusive public debate on the future direction of Irish prison policy by way of an Open Forum entitled “Re-imagining the Role of Prison in Irish Society”.

The announcement by Government of its plans to bring forward a White Paper on Crime and the recent decision to review plans for a new prison at Thornton Hall presents an opportunity to re-imagine the direction of prison policy in Ireland. This Open forum will provide for an inclusive public debate on the current criminal justice system, shifting the focus away from building bigger prisons and towards crime prevention, the proper use of imprisonment, and the appropriate use of alternatives to custody. IPRT believes that we are now at a crossroads in our prison policy and calls for all interested parties to contribute to this debate.

Confirmed speakers include:

Professor Andrew Coyle of the International Centre for Prison Studies at Kings College London on the work of the Commission on English Prisons Today – a body comprised of key academics and public officials in the English justice system, chaired by Cherie Booth QC, which reviewed the use of imprisonment in England.

Professor Fergus McNeill of the Glasgow School of Social Work (a joint venture of the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde) and a Network Leader in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow. Professor McNeill has been part of a review process with the Scottish Prisons Commission.

For more information about the event, or to register, please contact:

Re-imagining the role of prison in Irish society

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