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    Criminal Justice Culture(s) in Ireland: Quo Vadis?*

    Hamilton, Claire (2019) Criminal Justice Culture(s) in Ireland: Quo Vadis?*. Irish Probation Journal, 16. pp. 6-21. ISSN 1649-6396

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    Employing culture as a lens through which to examine the Irish criminal justice system, this paper reflects on recent developments within key criminal justice agencies with a view to where we may be headed in the near future. Four traits common to criminal justice in Ireland, perhaps paralleling cultural patterns in Irish society more broadly, are identified: the use of discretion; a disjuncture between policy and practice; the primacy of agency; and humanitarianism. Given the unprecedented level of scrutiny brought to bear on the key agencies of our criminal justice system in the past five to seven years, and a growing body of research in a post-colonial vein, the paper argues that we have become increasingly self-aware as a criminal justice system, as well as more reflexive as regards our relationship with other states. Indeed, recent critical scrutiny of organisational cultures in our police and prison services and the Department of Justice has perhaps resulted in a new receptiveness to change and to European influences. Despite this pressure towards convergence, we should not forget that local actors are always responsible for implementation of criminal justice ‘on the ground’, thus bringing national cultural traits back into focus. Paradoxically, one of the effects of these pressures towards convergence may be to force a deeper understanding of Irish criminal justice culture and the ‘recovery’, as Brangan (2019) has argued, of its core assumptions, values and fundamentals.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: * This paper comprises the revised text of the 12th Martin Tansey Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Association for Criminal Justice, Research and Development (ACJRD) and delivered at the Criminal Courts of Justice, Dublin, 6 March 2019
    Keywords: Ireland; criminal justice culture; humanitarianism; Garland; penal state; police culture; prison culture; Department of Justice; legal culture;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Item ID: 15601
    Depositing User: Claire Hamilton
    Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 16:17
    Journal or Publication Title: Irish Probation Journal
    Publisher: Probation Service
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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