As a member of the One in Five campaign group on the Council of Europe, Deirdre Clune has today called on the Minister for Justice to outline what structures are in place to deal with sexual offenders in our prisons and in our communities and to what extent cooperation from the offender is mandatory?
“The deplorable rape case involving two little girls, aged 6 and 9, last week in Westmeath has once again highlighted the issue of how we deal with sexual offenders in our prison system”
“I have made contact with victims groups here in Ireland who believe that we are not focusing our attention on rehabilitating sexual offenders. At any given time, there are approximately 300 convicted sexual offenders in our prison system. We are releasing approximately 100 sexual offenders annually from our prison system”
“Minister Shatter has made considerable progress in the area of child protection with the introduction of the Criminal Justice Bill 2012. We now need to go further to protect our children and implement immediate mandatory rehabilitative programmes in our prisons for sexual offenders. We also need to ensure that sex offenders are properly managed within the community after their release to minimise the chances that they will offend again”
“An increasing body of research shows that simply imprisoning sexual offenders is not effective in reducing their risk of re-offending on release. Research has shown that well designed, evidence based rehabilitative approaches in prison can have the effect of reducing reoffending rates amongst sexual offenders. No one is suggesting that sexualoffenders will be “cured” but mandatory programmes in our prisons would be a part of a wider approach to managing sexual offenders to try and reduce the risk that they reoffend in the community”
“Sexual offenders who refuse to co-operate with mandatory rehabilitation programmes should not be considered for early release, temporary release or remission of any kind.
We need to break the cycle of sexual abuse in Ireland and we need to do it now”