Feature 7 November 2008 | Restorative Justice Week

07 Nov 2008

title image Restorative Justice Week takes place in Ireland from 9-16 November and highlights the need to explore alternatives to prison

Restorative Justice Week 9-16 November 2008

Information about activities during Restorative Justice Week can be found below; as well as an article by Imelda Wickham, National Co-ordinator of Prison Chaplains in the Republic of Ireland, which appears in Intercom, the magazine of the Bishop’s Conference; an article by Tony O’Riordan SJ from Thinking Faith, the online journal of the British Jesuits; and information on the support available to prisoners from the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas, an initiative of the Bishops’ Conference.

robert ballagh image with text

Restorative Justice Week offers an opportunity to discuss these issues at local level, and to remember in your prayers:


– Prisonsers and their families

– Victims and their families

– Prison staff


– Prison Chaplains


Prison Chaplains invite all to join them in their


on Sunday 16 November at 7.30 pm

Gardiner Street, Dublin 1

RTE Radio 1 “Thought for the Day” features Restorative Justice Week as its theme this week. Tune in at 6.40am and 12.58pm daily.

A Voice in the Wilderness?

“I was in prison and you visited me”

Click here to link to an article by Tony O’Riordan SJ from Thinking Faith, the online journal of the British Jesuits

There is hope

A former prisoner tells of the Support that the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas can offer to prisoners and their families.

Leaving prison can be for most people a daunting experience, but to then be returned to a country that I haven’t lived in for twenty odd years was for me a bit overwhelming to begin with.
But with the help and support of my family here, in particular my mother and sister, I have been able to re-build my relationship with my wife and my now five-year-old son. They have both now been living with me here for the last six months since I’ve been repatriated, and we are expecting a fourth little member to our family in January. I’ve come to realise how selfish I had been in doing what I had done to get me arrested in the first place. I had fooled myself into thinking that what I was doing was the best thing financially for myself and my family. But of course a child only wants their father’s love and support, and a wife needs her husband physically there to help her through the hard times, things which are difficult to do from behind bars. Money can never replace the time lost with my loved ones, but I personally think that you are never too old to change, and since I’ve been released have tried to educate myself, and thus improve my chances of gainful employment in the future. I have already completed a computer course for which I’ll be picking up a diploma this week, and with any luck I will be accepted on a community employment scheme that I was interviewed for last week (I was put forward for this by a probation officer involved with the Linkage Programme that the good people of the ICPO had put me in touch with.). My wife is almost finished a FAS course here also, for which I’m very proud of her, as English is not her mother tongue so it took a lot of work on her part, and my little guy has started in ‘the big school’. We are living in a nice little house and enjoying a reasonable standard of living, which is due in no small part to money not being wasted on alcohol or any other recreational substances.
For more information about the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas click here