A former prisoner who now works for a subsidiary of the Probation Service says he never gave up on his goal to better himself.
Wayne Hart told Lunchtime Live: "Prison had an adverse effect on me and then when I came to a place when I was probably between the age of 25 and 27, that cognitive transformation had started within me.
"I would have been part of the FAI coaching course, the first one that was done... the GAA coaching cert."
"I remember [former Mountjoy governor John Lonergan] saying to me that I'd never gotten TR [temporary release] - what was the story like, is it not incentive?
"And I said 'you kind of need to give me incentive' and he says 'I'll give you an incentive - I'm going to give you a week out at Christmas'.
"It was kind of unheard of, people got five days, and he gave me a criteria.
"When I came back that I didn't come back under the influence, that I didn't bring back drugs... and he had promised that within six weeks I would be released.
"And true to his word, six weeks later I had adhered to everything he asked and I was released.
"The education was a big part - I went to school and I asked them to teach me how to read and write properly, I was 25 years of age, and education was a big part of it.
"So even the courses that I done in there, when I got out I up-skilled on all them courses, and then eventually through employment I had to end up going and doing a level five addition studies, then policies changed and I had to do a level seven.
"And then I did the level seven, I done so well UCD had offered me a place on the honours degree in social science and sociology - which actually is social work.
"But...I went on and I wanted to be a social worker, do a social work masters in order to be a probation officer.
"I couldn't be placed anywhere because of my criminal record.
"So ended up doing a masters in criminology and criminal justice, and now I work for a subsidiary of the Probation Service.
"I didn't give up and... what I started in prison, I followed through when I got out".
John Lonergan is former governor of Mountjoy Prison: "I have always believed myself that prison should be the last resort, and it's often not the last resort.
"We have a tradition in Ireland of using prisons on a very frequent basis for very short-term offences."
"67% of people in Irish prisons are serving 12 months or less - in reality that means a maximum of nine months and often less than that.
"So in terms of the value of that in terms of rehabilitation or anything constructive, tis too short.
"I would always distinguish myself, Ciara, between violent crime and non-violent crime.
"I think that if there's violence involved then victims come into it... because victims require some punishment element response to a crime that's committed against them.
"So the courts have to take that into consideration".
"Community service is not just letting the person off - it means that they have to do porogrammes in the community, they have to attend at certain times, they have to carry out tasks.
"So it must be a structured response".