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Offenders donated €2 million to charity in Ireland

Howard Lake | 23 January 2014 | News

Lawbreakers in Ireland gave €2 million to charities last year, according to a report in the Irish Times.
Courts in Ireland can direct people who have been convicted of breaking the law to make a donation to charity or the ‘poor box’ as it is known. The direction to give money to the poor box is usually an alternative to a custodial sentence or part of an arrangement to reduce the length of a non-custodial sentence.
In some cases, charity contributions have even led to a conviction being ‘struck out.’ For the most part, however, the cases where the poor box option is given are in the minor category.
The €2 million in 2013 was divided between 700 charities. Kerry District Court tops the list where offenders paid over €500,000 to charity, most of which went to overseas charities. Two international charities which help blind people – Sightsavers International and Christian Blind Mission – each received €60,000 and topped the list.

Judges make the decision to invoke the poor box and often the money is distributed following requests for support from charities. The Irish Times research found that most of the money went to local charities.
In the past the poor box system has been criticised for allowing offenders to ‘buy’ their way out of gaol or reduce their sentence.
 
Photo: poor box by stevendepolo on Flickr.com
 

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