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