Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, is urging the public to have their say on spent convictions legislation during an ongoing public consultation.
A public consultation was launched on Spent Convictions policy in October as part of a review to broaden the range of convictions that are considered spent.
A spent conviction is one that an individual no longer has to disclose, provided they meet the relevant criteria. In certain situations an individual may need to disclose their criminal convictions and this can have a negative effect on their employment prospects and on other aspects of life, including foreign travel. Sexual offences or convictions in the Central Criminal Court are not eligible to become spent convictions.
Thomas Pringle TD says current spent convictions legislation is not fit for purpose.
Deputy Pringle said: “I will be making my submission and calling for an unlimited amount of convictions to be considered spent, depending on the time, and the circumstances of that person’s life.”
Deputy Pringle said the current spent convictions legislation is not fit for purpose because it is limited to one conviction and short sentences, does not take into account the length of time since offending and does not recognise specific youth justice issues.
Deputy Pringle said: “All of this means that there are people who may have had a period of offending in their youth, maybe related to addiction issues, for example, and then 30 or 40 years later they are still unable to get car insurance or some licences, unable to volunteer or get certain jobs.
“It is a really unfair system and totally out of line with international best practices. Senator Lynn Ruane brought forward the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018 and this consultation will form part of the legislative process for that bill,” he said.
The public consultation on spent convictions is open until 12 noon on Friday, November 6th. People can participate in the consultation by completing a short survey or by writing or emailing the Department. All details are at this link: