June 13, 2024
Restorative justice failures show lack of government innovation – Pa Daly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly TD, has today commented on the release of statistics on restorative justice usage over the past number of years.
Teachta Daly said: 
“The mapping exercise, conducted by Dr. Ian Marder of the Maynooth University School of Law and Criminology, shows restorative justice was used at a low level in 2019 compared with the overall criminal justice caseload, with less than 1% of cases referred. 
“This then decreased during the pandemic, from an already low level. And, importantly, referrals have not increases since pandemic restrictions were eased.
“Referral statistics for 2023 remained at pre-pandemic levels, excluding restorative cautions delivered by An Garda Síochána.
“Last year, I moved the Criminal Justice (Promotion of Restorative Justice) (Amendment) Bill 2023, along with Sinn Féin colleagues and with the help of Dr. Marder. The Bill would help to promote the use of restorative justice, giving a clearer legislative framework for the same.
“Restorative justice can refer to a number of different processes. By and large, these enable a victim and an offender or alleged offender to communicate, with their consent and facilitated by an impartial third party, in order to address and repair the harm done by the offence through dialogue and reparation. 
“This allows the offender or alleged offender to address and repair the harm done by the offence to others with a stake in what happens, and to society at large.
“With prison overcrowding a concern, the high victim satisfaction from restorative justice initiatives should influence the need for serious investment and support. I would reiterate my call for the government to engage with Sinn Féin’s proposals in this regard.”

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