We have responsibility for the Strategic Review of Penal Policy and for driving the implementation of the recommendations on penal reform of the Penal Policy Review Group.  Further information on the Strategic Review, its recommendations and implementation progress reports can be found on the Penal Policy Review page.

The aim of our penal policy is to make Ireland a safer and fairer place.

While punishment for those who commit crime is a central element of our justice system the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders is at the core of our penal system. This is the best way to achieve a reduction in re-offending.

To do this we work with the key agencies involved - the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service.  In conjunction with the Irish Prison Service and Probation Service, the Department have developed  ‘A New Way Forward - Social Enterprise Strategy 2017-2019’. The strategy, along with the Mid-Term Review are available here.

The Department has published a discussion paper on Prisoner Population and Trends. You can find out more here.

A recent study  A Review of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services for Adult Offenders in Prison and in the Community has also been published.

We provide advice to the Minister on penal matters and are responsible for Ministerial appointments to:


We also liaise with the Office of the Inspector of Prisons.



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