Prison Chaplains Say Criminal Justice System Is Failing

Ireland’s prison chaplains say there is an urgent need to find new ways of dealing with offenders as the current criminal justice system is failing.

In their annual report, the chaplains say the scales of justice are clearly tilted in favour of imprisonment as virtually the only response to crime.

They say the State still places its trust and money in a system that is failing miserably.

According to the chaplains, research shows that building more prisons and handing down longer sentences does little to deter or prevent crime.

They say spending €1,600-a-week to lock up people who fail to pay fines and civil debts is a waste of resources that could be better used tackling the causes of crime such as social deprivation.