A second chance - Prison reform


AT one stage or another, we’ve all paid the price for the follies of youth but figures released today show that people aged between 18 and 24 make up a quarter of all people in jail. This seems a matrix of some sort of failure. That more than two thirds of them reoffend just confirms that feeling.

The Irish Penal Reform Trust published a policy document yesterday urging that people in that age bracket get a specific kind of treatment while in prison that might help them recover their lives and avoid returning to prison. It also recommends a wider range of alternatives to custody, including restorative justice and rehabilitation support for those leaving prison.

These suggestions make complete sense and even if they help only a tiny minority of young offenders recover some equilibrium in their lives then they are worthwhile. There is the regular caveat, though: Resources are limited and we cannot always do what we might like to. However, in this instance, these proposals make sense on an economic and human level.



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