Articles tagged with: Criminality

Pro Bono: Still Relevant for Access to Justice

on Wednesday, 18 November 2009. Posted in Issue 62 Who Will Pay for Recession?

Patrick Hume SJ

November, 2009

Pro Bono: Still Relevant for Access to Justice


A call to justice for the poor and marginalised is to be found in the three major monotheistic faith traditions. The Hebrew tradition specifically mentions the need for justice for the poor in their lawsuits.1 In Christian scriptures, scribes or lawyers were encouraged to foster justice, especially among the poor and widows. A similar call to justice can be found in the Quran,2 alongside calls to charity.3 Each tradition is intimately linked to law, and emphasises the need for its careful application with justice and mercy.4

Crime and Punishment: A Christian Perspective

on Wednesday, 02 July 2008. Posted in Issue 58 Time for Justice?

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ
July, 2008

pdf Crime and Punishment: A Christian Perspective



Balancing the diverse elements of justice

At the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles, it was usual to distinguish between paramilitary prisoners and ODCs – ‘ordinary decent criminals’. The terminology is suggestive, even provocative: is it ever right to consider criminals as ‘ordinary’, much less ‘decent’? Certainly, it would be altogether wrong to trivialise the plight of victims, and especially victims of violent crime, by too lightly using a euphemism like ‘ordinary decent criminals’.

Gardaí and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Reports

on Thursday, 27 March 2008. Posted in Issue 57 Thornton Hall Prison: A Progressive Move?

Peter McVerry SJ

pdf Gardaí and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Reports


Towards the end of 2007, a young man, aged nineteen, from a deprived neighbourhood came to tell me that on the previous day he had been taken to a Garda Station for a drugs search, during the course of which he had beeng assaulted by several Gardaí. When no drugs were found on him, he was told to leave. He claimed that as he was leaving he was shoved forcefully towards the door by a Garda, which caused his head to smash the glass panel of the door. He said that he was then brought back into the Garda Station and charged with assaulting the Garda and causing criminal damage to the door.

Crime and Prisons

on Thursday, 26 April 2007. Posted in Issue 55 The Election Issue, 2007

May, 2007


pdf Crime and Prisons 60.65 Kb

Tough on Crime or Tough on Criminals?

While it may be difficult to predict the outcome of the forthcoming General Election, it is somewhat easier to make accurate predictions about the issues that will surface as the election campaign unfolds. Crime will almost certainly feature prominently and we can safely expect that the political parties will compete with one another to prove to the voters that it is they who will be the toughest on crime.

An Award Ceremony For Successful Criminals?

on Wednesday, 25 October 2006. Posted in Issue 53 Rehabilitation in Irish Prisons: Are we for Real?, 2006

October, 2006

Article by Tony O’Riordan SJ

Imagine if we introduced an annual award ceremony for Ireland’s most successful criminals. Who might be present at such a gala event and who would be likely to receive nominations and awards?

It is unlikely that such an event will ever happen but the very suggestion might help us think about some of the problems with our contemporary images and assumptions about crime, anti-social behaviour and fairness in Irish society.

Alternatives to Custody in Ireland

on Wednesday, 25 October 2006. Posted in Issue 53 Rehabilitation in Irish Prisons: Are we for Real?, 2006

October, 2006

Article by Dr. Mairead Seymour

Ireland has seen a sharp increase in its prison population and a corresponding expansion of the prison estate over the last decade despite a reduction in the levels of recorded crime.  Indeed, since 1995 the prison population rate has grown from 57 per 100,000 of national population to 78 per 100,000 of national population in 20061.

Morris Tribunal Report and the Garda Siochana Bill 2004

on Thursday, 02 December 2004. Posted in Issue 49 The Garda Síochána Bill 2004 (Somone will be watching you!), 2004

November, 2004

Peter McVerry SJ*

1. Morris Tribunal Report

The Morris Tribunal\'s Report into corruption involving some Gardai in Donegal (1) has major implications for the Garda Síochána generally. The Report calls for radical reform of the structures within the Gardai, structures which have remained essentially unchanged since the foundation of the State and which are clearly in need of reform. This  is an opportunity which must not be missed.

The Claims Industry and the Public Interest

on Thursday, 31 July 2003. Posted in Issue 35 The Claims Industry and the Public Interest, 1999

Tony O'Riordan SJ and Bill Toner, SJ

June 1999


Processing personal injury claims is big business. In the Dublin Area Yellow Pages for 1998/9, 44 pages of advertising are devoted to solicitors (as against 33 pages to computing-related services, 24 to building services, and 9 to auctioneers, estate agents and valuers). In the \'solicitors\' section there are 23 full-page advertisements costing between £10,000 to £16,000 each The total cost of the advertisements in this section is about £500,000. The content of these advertisements is dominated by the item of personal injury claims. Bold headings proclaim "Personal Injury Law is Our Business", "No-Win No-Fee" etc.

Much of the analysis of the so-called \'compo culture\' has focused on four factors:

Juvenile Crime Re-visited

Written by Peter McVerry SJ on Sunday, 22 June 2003. Posted in Issue 43 Juvenile Crime: Are Harsher Sentences the Solution?, 2002

Reflection and Analysis on Social and Economic Issues
Issue 43 June 2002

Peter McVerry SJ has worked with homelesss young people for the last 25 years. In this article, he looks again at the problem of juvenile crime.
The problem explodes

A Blight on Many Communities
The recent death of two gardai in a so-called "joyriding" incident focused political and media attention once again on the problem of juvenile crime - for about five days!

Turning Around the Negative Cycle in Families

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 39 The Crisis in Parenting, 2001

Paul Andrews, SJ

February 2001

What is the real problem?

When you work with families, you get used to double-takes. The reason a family gives for seeking the help of a stranger is seldom the real reason. It is always more complicated than it appears. In a crisis, there is a tendency to find a scapegoat, draw a circle round her/him and say There's the problem. It is always more complex than it looks, and the initial problem is seldom the real one.

The Crisis In Parenting

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 39 The Crisis in Parenting, 2001

Bill Toner, SJ

February 2001



In a recent survey in a Dublin suburb afflicted by drugs, 100 adolescents were asked in a questionnaire how the family could help young people to avoid getting involved with drugs?   Of these, 28 stated that parents could help by knowing where there children were and who they were with, looking after children properly, keeping of the street and limiting their freedom.  Another 23 suggested that parents could talk to children about drugs.  The authors of the survey conclude:  “Of those responding, over half (of adolescents) require a greater involvement of parents in their lives.  The perception that young teenagers want more freedom is not borne out by the results of this survey” [1]

Crime: Causes and Responses

on Wednesday, 30 July 2003. Posted in Issue 31 Do Poor Children Deserve Perfect Teeth?, 1998

Bill Toner, SJ and Tom Giblin, SJ

March, 1998


Why Did Gavin Do It?

Gavin, a twenty-one year old who normally lives in a flat complex in the inner city, is currently serving a one year sentence for burglary. On temporary release for Christmas, he is persuaded by a young neighbour to join him in a stolen car. The two drive out to the suburbs, where they spend some time in high-speed \'joy-riding\' and then ram-raid an off-licence and steal spirits and cigarettes. On the way home they are followed by a police car, which they ram. They are arrested and Gavin arrives back in prison, where he will face further charges.

Drugs: The Current State of Play

on Wednesday, 30 July 2003. Posted in Issue 33 Wanted: An Immigration Policy, 1998

Frank Brady, SJ

December 1998



In October 1996 and May 1997 the Ministerial Task Force on Measures to Reduce the Demand for Drugs published its first and second reports. The first report deals mainly with heroin and the problem of opiate misuse in the Greater Dublin area. The second deals with the non-opiate problem nation-wide, with drugs in prisons, and, briefly, with therapeutic communities and rehabilitation.

We tend to think that law defines what crime is. This makes sense because contemporary legal codes are concerned with marking out the territory where conduct is permissible by specifying the conduct that is outlawed. Yet the earliest bodies of law – consider for example, the Torah or Hammurabi’s Code – are at least as committed to articulating the good as proscribing the bad... Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.