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Should prisoners get any time off their sentence for good behaviour?

Do you agree with prisoners getting out early for good behaviour?

Niall spoke to a brave woman  -Shaneda Daly. Niall has spoken to Shaneda on his show before and her story is one that shocks the nation.

Back in 2011 her father Harry Daily was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the repeated abuse and rape of Shaneda over 10 years in what she described as their “house of doom”.

She waived her right to anonymity so her father could be named.

Harry Daly came forward to the Central Criminal Court on signed pleas of guilty from the District Court. He signed 227 pleas, 103 of indecent assault and 24 of sexual assault. The remainder were charges of different forms of rape, including oral rape.

He pleaded guilty b to sample charges of rape, indecent assault and sex assault of the girl between February 1st, 1982, and November 30th, 1992, when she was between six and 17 years old.

Daly’s wife stayed with him after their daughter disclosed the abuse. The judge said he understood from the evidence there was a five-year period when the girl was abused daily.

He said the breach of trust, gravity of the offence, effect on the victim, multiplicity and duration of the crimes and “the grooming and escalating nature of the offences”, warranted a 15-year sentence.

He suspended the last five years of the sentence, having taken into account the fact Daly “availed of a procedure to bring the case before the court in the shortest possible time” by signing pleas of guilty.

He also took into account his lack of previous convictions, expression of remorse and the fact he had worked all his life.

Mr Justice Carney granted the suspension on condition Daly kept away from his daughter unless she wished to see him. He registered him as a sex offender and said he must undergo seven years of post-release supervision.

This particular man will be out next year after serving just 7 and a half years of a 15 year sentence.

As I said, 5 of the 15 were suspended because of his guilty plea – even so – he should be serving 10 year at least but if he gets out next year he won’t have even served that.

Why? Because he behaved himself in prison – do you think that is right?

Under Rule 59 of the Prison Rules 2007 as amended, the vast majority of prisoners serving sentences are entitled to remission at a rate of one quarter. In practice, this means that a person sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment will be expected to serve 3 years in custody.

The reason for remission is to ensure that there would be no breaches of prison discipline and incentivise prisoners to behave better behind bars. However, it seems over the years that the idea of remission has become some sort of entitlement rather than as discretion.

I want to know if you think any prisoner should actually be rewarded for their good behaviour behind bars.

I know they say prison is a place for rehabilitation these people who have committed crimes and remission and rewards for being good is a way of rehabilitating.

But what about the victims?

Here we have a woman who fought tooth and nail to have her disgusting abuser put behind bars – only for him to be released 7and a half years later.

Is that fair? In some countries they have minimum sentencing. This means that no matter how well someone behaves, they have to serve the minimum sentence they were given. In Ireland, we don’t have that.

Should prisoners get any time off their sentence for good behaviour?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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