The Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) believes that contact with the criminal justice system could be turned into an opportunity for improving health and wellbeing. This is an opportunity for health and social care services to identify and work with some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. It is also an opportunity to take a rights-based approach to tackling inequalities in society.
An overall theme throughout the draft strategy is for greater collaboration and a more joined-up approach from point of entry to the criminal justice system to resettlement in the community. In addition, a key theme that resonates throughout the draft strategy is the potential for criminal justice institutions as health promotion settings. IPH is pleased to see such an approach however work is required prior to point of entry to ensure health equity, and throughout the criminal justice experience to ensure equity of service provision. An overall approach of health equity would; address the inequalities that cause contact with the criminal justice system, address the
inequalities that result from contact with the criminal justice system, and address the inequalities in service provision.