TD hails jails tally drop as ‘chance to help peo­ple’

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS -

JUS­TICE Min­is­ter Char­lie Flana­gan told a hu­man rights con­fer­ence yes­ter­day that Ire­land was en­ter­ing a more “pos­i­tive space” in re­la­tion to prison num­bers.

Over the last six years, jail fig­ures have re­duced to 88 per 100,000 peo­ple, com­pared with 148 in Eng­land, 147 in Scot­land, and 101 in North­ern Ire­land.

And Mr Flana­gan said the re­duced num­bers al­lowed for greater fo­cus on broader so­cial is­sues tied up with im­pris­on­ment.

The min­is­ter ex­plained: “Many peo­ple in jail are poor eco­nom­i­cally, but also poor emo­tion­ally, ed­u­ca­tion­ally, so­cially and in the con­text of their health sta­tus.”

He added a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of males who have a par­ent in prison will go to prison them­selves.

And Mr Flana­gan said sup­port­ing peo­ple be­hind bars can mean we have fewer vic­tims and less crime.

He added: “By im­prov­ing the jail sys­tem, we can help pris­on­ers change their lives. We can bet­ter pro­tect in­mates and those who work in jails.

“We can work to break the cy­cle of re-of­fend­ing, yield­ing ben­e­fits for com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mr Flana­gan added he felt pris­ons should be­come in­sti­tu­tions in the pub­lic do­main.

PRAISE Min­is­ter Flana­gan

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