Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan TD has said projects that can successfully reduce recidivism in some manner should be rolled out across the country.

A report by the Joint Agency Response to Crime (J-Arc) published today indicates that a programme to tackle repeat offending should be rolled out across the country following the success of three pilot schemes in the Dublin region.

The report has found that 30% of those monitored as part of the programme did not re-offend within the two years following an offence, while a further 10% re-committed less serious crimes.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Deputy O’Callaghan said, “There are longstanding and serious problems relating to the rate of re-offending in Ireland. We need to pursue policies that deter people from re-offending and which direct them towards a path away from crime. Further education and training are central to achieving these objectives.

“The findings of today’s report are certainly encouraging, especially the fact that these 89 people developed a more positive attitude and achieved educationally while taking part in the project. It goes without saying that the offender’s quality of life drastically improved and enhanced their ability to lead a life away from crime.

“This is noteworthy success. I very much recognise the good work carried out by members of An Garda Síochana and those working with both the Prison Service and Probation services in facilitating this programme.

“Lowering the high rate of recidivism needs to remain a priority for the Department of Justice. Any programme or strategy that has proven to successfully reduce recidivism in some way should be rolled out across the country.

He concluded, “Crime cannot simply be reduced through detection and deterrence. We must also work with offenders to assist them in departing from a criminal path. Any fresh and thoughtful approach to improving our criminal justice system can only be of benefit to society as a whole.”