Graphic Logo for COSC depicting a harp and text

The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

An Oifig Náisiúnta um Fhoréigean Baile, Gnéasach agus Inscnebhunaithe a Chosc

  1. Conference on the management of sex offenders


Discussion Forum on the future management of Sex Offenders

On 26th March, The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, T.D., opened a Discussion Forum on the Management of Sex Offenders based on a Discussion Document published in January on this matter.

Minister Ahern said that "this Discussion Document involves a systematic review of all aspects to see what more can be done or how we can do existing things better."    He went on to say that the "Forum provides an opportunity to a wide range of interested groups to hear what is proposed and to provide their valuable input."

The key provisions being proposed include:

• standardised, evidence based risk assessments specifically designed for sex offenders will be introduced with the aim of assessing the risk level of all convicted sex offenders;
• the results of assessments will be shared as appropriate between the Gardaí, the Probation Service and the Irish Prison Service;
• in the case of every person convicted of a sexual offence, the sentencing court will be offered a risk assessment for the offender; 
• new interventions for sex offenders are being introduced by the Irish Prison Service;
• in appropriate cases when a sex offender is  returning to the community on completion of their sentence a case conference will be held, involving the Irish Prison Service, the Probation Service, the Garda Síochána and others as required, to prepare a strategy for the re-integration of the offender into the community; 
• there will be a network of local risk management committees whose job will be to monitor all the identified high risk sex offenders in the community and to take what ever action they determine is necessary;
• new statutory powers will be given to the Gardaí and the Probation Service to carry out this task and to more effectively and efficiently monitor released sex offenders.  Importantly this will include the power for the Probation Service to apply to court to impose new conditions on sex offenders about to be released and who are to be subject to post release supervision orders; and
• as part of this process the Minister has directed his officials to look at the legislative and administrative implications of monitoring certain higher risk sex offenders electronically using GPS technology.  The Project Board, led by the Probation Service, has begun this work and he expects to hear back from them later in the year.

Concluding the Minister said that he was convinced the measures proposed will significantly improve the effectiveness of interventions with convicted sex offenders.

To view the discussion document click on the following link:Discussion Document -Management Of Sex Offenders