Seanad debates

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Criminal Justice (Mutual Recognition of Probation Judgments and Decisions) Bill 2018: Committee and Remaining Stages


10:30 am

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I acknowledge the support of Senators since Second Stage. This is a complex Bill, as they will have noted, but it has a straightforward purpose, namely, to allow a person who has been placed under the supervision of the probation service in one EU member state but who lives in another to return home and undergo his or her further supervision here, or there, depending on the circumstances, provided the person's consent is forthcoming. I emphasise that a person cannot be transferred from one country to another without his or her consent as it would discourage compliance and rehabilitation, which would have the effect of undermining the proposal. The proposals in the Bill will increase the chances of social reintegration of offenders by ensuring that the probation measures imposed on a person can be followed up on and he or she can be supervised in the country in which he or she resides. This will allow the offender to: maintain ties with family and community; in some circumstances, to continue in employment or education; and to relate to the support services in his or her home country, all of which are important in the context of rehabilitation and reintegration.Successful reintegration reduces the risk of reoffending, which improves the protections for both victims and society. The Bill better protects society by improving the compliance framework for probation conditions and reduces unnecessary detention of non-resident offenders by ensuring the enforcement of non-custodial sentences in the person's home state. This Bill, when enacted, will not affect too many people, but for the small number it will affect, it will have a considerable impact on their lives and for that reason, it is important legislation. I thank Members for ensuring its concluding Stages were taken this afternoon before our summer recess.


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