The 9th Irish Criminal Justice Agencies Conference, Penal Policy Reform: Putting Community at the Heart of the Criminal Justice System, will take place on Tuesday, 10th October 2023.

See Programme information and Booking details below


The 9th Irish Criminal Justice Agencies Conference, Penal Policy Reform: Putting Community at the Heart of the Criminal Justice System, will take place on Tuesday, 10th October 2023 at the Printworks, Dublin Castle.

This annual one day conference is a collaboration of the Department of Justice, Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Irish Prison Service, An Garda Síochána, The Probation Service, Policing Authority, Courts Service, Garda Síochána Inspectorate, Office of the Revenue Commissioners, Parole Board, King’s Inns, Maynooth University, University College Dublin, Limerick University, non-agency Criminal Justice System Actors and the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development (ACJRD).

The Probation Service is leading the 2023 Conference.

Criminal Justice policy regularly refers to prison as last resort for those who have criminal convictions. We have had a long tradition in this jurisdiction of community sanctions, that are supervised and managed by the Probation Service. Sometimes such sanctions are viewed in the context of providing a conduit to free up pressure on available prison spaces. However, community sanctions require a discrete focus, thereby valuing them, as opposed to viewing them as just an alternative. That focus is the geneses of the 2023 ICJA Conference. It aims to explore such themes through perspectives from the Department of Justice, The DPP, the judiciary, An Garda Síochána, European and International Criminal Justice, and those from our voluntary and community sector who work and volunteer, in the context of community safety, to enable rehabilitation, reintegration and desistance.


Programme: The 9th Irish Criminal Justice Agencies Conference

The Conference Programme is available to download here

Speakers: The conference will be launched by Minister James Browne, Minister of State Department of Justice with responsibility for Law Reform and Youth Justice, and opened by Mark Wilson, Director, The Probation Service.

Confirmed Plenary speakers include:

Ben Ryan, Head of Policy for Criminal Justice, Department of Justice; Judge Paul Kelly, President of the District Court; Fergus McNeill, Professor of Criminology and Social Work, University of Glasgow, Scotland; Catherine Pierse, Director of Public Prosecutions; Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, An Garda Síochána; Katharina Swirak, Deputy Head of Department of Sociology and Criminology, UCC.

Confirmed Thematic breakout sessions speakers include:

Michael Daly, COSA Co-Coordinator, and Gerry Donohoe, COSA Volunteer, Circles of Support and Accountability; Marie Vanasova, Team Leader and Donncha O’Donnchadha Volunteer mentor, Le Chéile Mentoring; Chief Officer Mark Walsh, Mountjoy Prison and Daniel Lambert, Chief Operations Officer at Bohemian Football Club; Dr Martina Moloney, Chair and Janine Bartley, Community Safety Coordinator, Longford Local Community Safety Partnership; Community Access Support Team: Supt Andrew Lacey, Limerick City North and James Harrington, Interim Area Director of Mental Health Nursing, HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare; Emily Sheary, Manager, Restorative Justice in the Community; Diarmuid O'Leary, Barrister; Gerry McNally, Assistant Director, The Probation Service and former President of the Confederation of European Probation (CEP); Catherine Kenny, Policy, Information & Casework Officer, Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas.


Event details

Date: Tuesday, 10th October 2023
Time: 9.30am - 4.45pm (registration 8.30am)
Location: Printworks, Dublin Castle

Booking: Booking has now opened for this Conference and a number of tickets have been reserved for ACJRD members. Please note the following:

  • This is a free event but booking is essential.
  • There is a limit of two tickets per organisation. If you require more tickets, names may be added to the Waiting List (once in operation).
  • When booking, all delegates must indicate their first and second preferences for Thematic Sessions (details can be found on the programme at the link above).
  • If a Waiting List is in operation, do add your name to it, as tickets may be available closer to the event.
  • Staff members from the conference partner organisations (The Probation Service, The Department of Justice, The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), The Office of the DPP, Irish Prison Service, An Garda Síochána, An Garda Síochána Inspectorate, The Policing Authority, The Courts Service, The Office of the Revenue Commissioner, The Parole Board, King’s Inns, Maynooth University, The University College Dublin and the University of Limerick, Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission) need to book through a separate Eventbrite link system. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details. 


Booking for ‘General Admission’ tickets has also opened at the link above. 

  • Criminal Justice Agencies and ACJRD members will get priority in the registration process and therefore there will be limited public access availability. Should you wish to, you can take out membership here.
  • A waiting list of those non-members who wish to attend will appear as an option on Eventbrite once tickets are sold out.

ISL Interpretation is available by request, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require this service. If you would like to avail of ISL interpretation we would appreciate an early booking to facilitate the interpreter arrangements (by Monday 2nd October).


Chatham House Rule
To encourage openness and the sharing of information, the Chatham House Rule will be invoked at this conference. Audio recordings may be taken of the Conference for office use only in the production of a conference report.

The Chatham House Rule reads as follows: "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed".