Limerick law professor invited to chair penal council

Professor Shane Kilcommins

Professor Shane Kilcommins at the University of Limerick School of Law has been invited by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to chair a consultative council on penal policy.

The consultative council’s creation is one of the recommendations made by the Penal Policy Review Group established in 2012, which reported to the Irish government a year ago.

The group was asked to conduct a wide ranging strategic review of penal policy, taking into account relevant work already carried out in Ireland and elsewhere, the rights of those convicted of crimes, the perspective of those who are victims of crime, and the interests of society in general.

The group envisaged that future penal policy would benefit from additional oversight and consultation and recommended the creation of an advisory council that would consult with relevant bodies on specific issues relating to penal policy.

It is hoped that the council can help create a consistent approach focusing on reducing imprisonment as a sanction and the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.

Professor Kilcommins lectures in evidence law, jurisprudence, penology and employment law and has co-authored various reports on discrimination, victims of crime and integrative learning. He was appointed to the Office of the Inspector of Prisons in May 2013.

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