Shifting Focus: From Criminal Justice to Social Justice - Building Better and Safer Communities

Irish Penal Reform Trust, Barnardos & Irish Association of Young People in Care. (2010).
Crime cannot be viewed as a social problem in isolation from deeper social and economic issues. Understanding and responding to offending behaviour is a complex issue. There is no one ‘cause’ and no single solution; consequently one-dimensional approaches are unlikely to produce results. Currently, the Irish criminal justice system is spending increasing and wasteful amounts of scarce resources with poor results in reducing crime, when modest investments in under-resourced communities would have greater positive effects in reducing offending, as well as producing wider social benefifits. In this policy document, IPRT, Barnardos and IAYPIC present the case for making the shift in resources from criminal justice to social justice, thereby creating better communities and a safer society for all.