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Crime and Punishment in the Republic of Ireland: A Country Profile

NCJ Number
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Volume: 35 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2011 Pages: 73-88
Ian O'Donnell
Date Published
February 2011
16 pages
This article review the Irish criminal justice system.
The colonial origins of the Irish criminal justice system can be seen its buildings, laws, procedures, and practices. When change occurs it is often driven by events rather than emerging from a deliberative process that draws on evidence and expertise. The murders, in the space of a fortnight in 1996, of a journalist and a police officer, led to heightened anxiety about crime and its consequences. This was accompanied by a toughening of the political mood that was translated into a commitment to more police and more prisons. At around the same time, and continuing for a decade, the Republic of Ireland experienced rapid social change, including significant inward migration and greatly increased prosperity. These trends impacted on police, prosecutors, and courts and put new pressures on the prison population. How these challenges are addressed - especially in the context of declining economic resources - will determine the shape of the criminal justice system in the years ahead. (Published Abstract)