Despite all these measures, the incidence of crime has not changed. The evidence would appear to suggest that the crime rate has not responded to tougher criminal justice policies.
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Has rehabilitation been seriously tried?
Rehabilitation within the prisons, in terms of education, work-training, counselling etc., in many of Ireland’s prisons continues to be inadequate. picture on the right. It is a notice on the wall in Mountjoy Prison. Consider all the difficulties a person might have adjusting to life after prison when their life inside has been like this.
Are social problems like poverty factors in crime?
Social deprivation and poverty are accepted more and more as major contributing factors to the problem of crime. But the need to provide immediate solutions to immediate problems (such as joyriding) receives priority even though in the medium to long-term it may be a waste of resources, especially when it does not change the underlying causes.
What is being tackled?
There have been some attempts to tackle the deeper social or family problems that contribute to criminal behaviour, such as preventative or early intervention programmes,but they are regularly under the threat of closure due to lack of continued financial support.
Our political responses to crime need to have a long-term agenda, focusing on the causes of crime and criminal behaviour, rather than just locking people up behind bars with no hope of improving their life circumstances.