A team of criminologists in the Department of Law (Prof. Claire Hamilton, Dr. Joe Garrihy, Dr. Ian Marder, Dr. Ciara Bracken-Roche), together with the MU Access Programme and Mi:Lab, have successfully secured funding from the competitive Public Service Innovation Fund.
The project, Unlocking Potential: Developing a Fair Approach to Higher Education Applicants with Criminal Records, was developed in collaboration with the Irish Prison Service, the Irish Probation Service, the Pathways Centre for Prisoners and Former Prisoners (City of Dublin Education and Training Board), and the Irish Penal Reform Trust.
The project aims to develop a toolkit that will support higher education institutions to redevelop their admissions policies and practices for prisoners, former prisoners and people with convictions and aims to foster a common approach to this issue across higher education. It is intended that this work will contribute more broadly to recruitment practices, and the employment of people with convictions, across the public and civil service.
The project, which secured €25,000 in funding, was one of only 34 projects selected for funding out of 364 applications in 2020 (9 per cent success rate). It features in the Public Service Innovation Newsletter which is available here. Details of successful projects are also available here.
The project builds on the long-standing relationship between Maynooth University and Mountjoy Prison (Irish Prison Service) and in particular the establishment of the MU-Mountjoy Partnership in 2019.