I spoke recently on the Tom McGurk programme ‘McGurk on 4’ on 4fm about the need for change is ever more pressing in light of these publications.
It was also interesting to hear Charlie Flanagan T.D.’s comments about the political failures which have led to the current state of the prison system and his view that there needs to be a change in political priorities and discourse.
A political consensus on the need for and desirability of a reduction in Ireland’s level of imprisonment and the steps which can be taken to achieve this is imperative. I hope that Mr Flanagan reminds his parliamentary colleagues of the need for reasoned and rational debate in this regard. I also hope that should Mr Flanagan achieve Ministerial office his sentiments will remain the same. You can see Mr Flanagan’s position here: http://www.finegael.ie/news/index.cfm/type/details/nkey/36982 in which he states “Overcrowding at prisons creates tension and makes prisoner violence a more likely possibility. It also severely hinders the capacity of the prison system to rehabilitate serious offenders” and “An expensive, revolving-door prison system is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money and does nothing to reduce levels of crime in our country.”
How about a political commitment, across all parties, to reducing levels of imprisonment immediately?
You can listen back here: http://www.4fm.ie/profile.asp?id=1 The piece starts at 69 minutes.