New book makes recommendations for Garda custody reforms

New book makes recommendations for Garda custody reforms

A new book examines the reality of police custody in Ireland for minorities, children, those using an interpreter and those with intellectual disabilities and includes recommendations for reform.

Police Custody in Ireland, edited by Professor Yvonne Daly of Dublin City University’s School of Law and Government, brings together experts from policing studies, law, criminology, and psychology to critically examine contemporary police custody in Ireland.

This first-of-its-kind collection focuses exclusively on detention in Garda Síochána stations, critically examining it from human rights and best practice perspectives.

It examines the physical environment of custody, police interview techniques, existing protections, rights, and entitlements, and experiences of specific communities in custody, such as children, ethnic minorities, non-English speakers, the Mincéir/Traveller community, and those with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder.

Police Custody in Ireland gives a snapshot of Garda custody as it is now and makes recommendations for necessary future improvements.

Commenting on the book, Professor Daly said: “2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the Criminal Justice Act 1984, which was the first general piece of legislation to allow for arrest for the purposes of detention and questioning in Ireland.

“In the intervening 40 years, the impact of the investigative stage of the criminal process has increased significantly, but Garda custody has remained quite a hidden space.

“The expert contributors to this book have shone a light on the contemporary operation of Garda custody and made important recommendations for future improvements to ensure that the highest standards of police practice are operational in Garda custody, the rights of detainees are appropriately safeguarded, and the system works well for all.”

Professor Daire Keogh, president of Dublin City University, said: “This is an important new publication that shines a light on an area that, while critical to policing practice in Ireland, has been relatively unexamined.

“As well as bringing the police custody experience of specific communities into focus, Prof Daly and colleagues put forward practical solutions with the potential to improve outcomes for all stakeholders. In doing so, the collection reflects DCU values and its mission to ‘transform lives and societies’.”

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