A total of 92 sex offenders, including eight rapists, were released from Irish prisons in 2020, according to the latest figures from the agency responsible for managing the risk posed by the former inmates to communities.
Some 37 of the offenders went to live in the south of the country after release, 13 moved to the West, 12 provided addresses in the Dublin/Mid-Leinster region, and nine resided in Dublin/North-East.
One of the former prisoners was deported after serving their sentence, and 20 had no fixed address, according to statistics from the Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (SORAM) agency.
A total of 39 of the offenders had been convicted of sexual or indecent assault, eight were convicted of rape, and 12 had served sentences for defilement of a child. A total of 16 had committed offences relating to child abuse images, and 12 had more than one type of conviction.
Girls were the victims in the cases of 40 of the released offenders, while boys were the victims in 10 cases. Adult females were victims in 17 cases, adult males in two cases, and seven cases had more than one type of victim.
The prison-based Probation Service must notify Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, of the release of designated categories of convicted sex offenders under the Children First guidelines, which were introduced in 2017.
Additional information is then collated on the individual, and a file is forwarded to the Tusla Social Work Department in the area where the individual intends to reside following their release.
“A decision is then made as to whether an assessment is warranted due to potential child protection concerns, such as an identified sexual interest in children or known access to children,” according to SORAM’s latest annual report.
The 92 sex offenders released from Irish prisons in 2020 represents a decrease from the 103 who were released during the previous year.
In both years, the largest number of offenders went to live at addresses in Tusla’s southern administrative region following their release. This encompasses the counties of Cork, Kerry, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford.
Tusla’s western region, where 13 offenders resided following their release in 2020, includes Clare, Tipperary, Donegal and Longford in addition to the counties of Connacht.
Dublin/Mid-Leinster, where 12 offenders were located, includes parts of the Midlands, Kildare, Wicklow and south Dublin. Dublin/North-East spans Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Meath and north Dublin.