Contribute to the White Paper on Crime

The deadline for submissions to the second Consultation Paper in the White Paper on Crime process is the end of May.

This paper addressses Criminal Sanctions. It seeks to pose the following questions for public consideration:

  • To what extent do non-custodial penalties meet the objectives of sanctions  and, in particular, contribute to crime reduction and public protection?
  • What improvements can be made to increase the effectiveness of the existing non-custodial penalties?
  • Could greater use be made of the existing non-custodial penalties? If so, in what circumstances?
  • How can non-custodial sanctions which do not automatically lead to a custodial sanction in the event of non-compliance be developed?
  • What can be done to ensure that non-custodial sanctions address offending behaviour?
  • Could non-custodial sanctions be used to make up for any shortfalls in public service provision? If so, how?
  • Should all non-custodial sanctions require a statutory basis?
  • What kind of role should communities have in the operation of Community Service Orders?
  • What types of non-custodial sanctions might be appropriate for less serious but prolific offenders?
  • What type of non-custodial sanctions do you think are the most cost-effective?
  • Does Irish sentencing policy require greater structuring and how should this be achieved?
  • What principles should underpin sentencing policy?
  • What value, if any, would sentencing guidelines provide?
  • Is the role of victims in the sentencing process adequate?
  • How could popular understanding of the principles and processes involved in sentencing be promoted? Which body/bodies would be the most appropriate to pursue this objective?

The danger with such a process is that it encourages and facilitates delay in circumstances where time is of the essence when it comes to penal reform. We have had several reports over the years addressing the nature of our system of sanctions. The outcomes are fairly straightforward: increase recourse to community-based sanctions; eliminate imprisonment for non-serious offending; reduce the number of short-term sentences and gather much more data on sentencing to provide greater transparency and to enable us to create policies and practices which have a basis in robust evidence.

You can read more here.

Submissions can be made to: whitepaperoncrime@justice.ie.

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Contribute to the White Paper on Crime

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