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Home > Risk and reward: the development of social enterprise within the criminal justice sector in Ireland – some policy implications.

Cafferty, Siobhan and McCarthy, Olive and Power, Carol (2016) Risk and reward: the development of social enterprise within the criminal justice sector in Ireland – some policy implications. Irish Probation Journal, 13, pp. 22-39.

External website: http://www.probation.ie/EN/PB/0/E5A1E4037C3DDF5980...

The emergence of social enterprises (SEs) within criminal justice jurisdictions across Europe has increased significantly in recent years. Prison- and community-based income-generating businesses are providing employment for those who find it most difficult to secure jobs as a result of their previous criminal lifestyles. Combining a business model with a social mission, SEs are particularly attractive to those working with offenders, as securing employment plays a key role in recidivism rates. Despite the proven successes of SEs in criminal justice sectors across Europe, they remain uncharted territory here in Ireland. Based on primary research conducted with key stakeholders from the Department of Justice, the Irish Prison Service, the Probation Service and the community and voluntary sector, this paper explores the factors that support or hinder the development of SEs across the Irish criminal justice system. It concludes by proposing possible next steps to addressing the factors that have delayed their development up to this point.


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