A former prisoner says there has to be more emphasis on rehabilitation in prisons.
Garry Cunningham is also a best-selling author.
He has spent the last few years telling the story of how he turned his life around in schools and colleges.
He told The Hard Shoulder: "When I was going to try and gain employment I found it nigh on impossible.
"And I actually went to a hotel not too far from here - I was a painter and decorator - and I went for the job as a painter.
"And it turned out, my late father had his own company, and the guy interviewing me knew my dad.
"A 10 minute interview turned into a 40 minute conversation - and at the end of it he said to me 'basically the job is yours'.
"And as he did that, cause it was a hotel, he handed me a sheet of paper... and the first question was 'have you ever been incarcerated'.
"I completely understand, but I don't agree with it unfortunately".
He said he decided to hand-write a note and put it in with his application - but he received a generic e-mail days later to say he was unsuccessful.
Garry said his case worker rang the hotel, and asked about his interview.
"Shane said 'I'm just picking up on Garry Cunningham' - he didn't even get the Cunningham out - and he says 'Ah, the one who got away'.
"He said 'if this was my hotel I would have employed him yesterday, but there's a remit with this company'.
"The way I look at this one is, and I don't know if people will agree, if a man or woman has come out of prison after serving their time we do know that there's a culture out there that have no want to change - they'll happily go in and out with the revolving door.
"But I shouldn't be tarnished with that brush.
"I have a want and a drive to better my life and I was being knocked back".
"But I brought untold shame to my family, I will never re-offend because Mountjoy scared the bejesus out of me.
"But on top of that I do feel that years later, if you don't mind me saying, we're looking at the Green Party who are hanging their heads in shame today because they appointed to the State body a DJ who in 1997 had a drug conviction.
"And they want him to be taken off - I think this is disgraceful.
"What hope have I got?".
On his time in prison, he said: "I firmly believe that I was treated very well in prison, and in fact the very first media outlet that wrote a piece about me the headline was 'Prison saved my life', and it did.
"Now I do realise I'm in the minority with this.
"In prison itself - I went back into prisons after my first book came out - and I was giving a talk in Portlaoise.
"A young man put his hand up, and you could see he was struggling with addiction, and he did this on purpose - he sabotaged my talk because the governor was in the room.
"And he didn't actually want to talk to me, he wanted to talk to the governor.
"He said something that I fully agree with: he said 'Would you put your clothes into a broken washing machine?'
"And I smiled and I said 'no', I knew where he was going.
"And he said 'Hang on, if you put them into the broken washing machine, would you expect them to come out OK?' and I said 'absolutely not'.
"And he said 'Well I don't understand how people outside think that we're meant to come out OK when the process of rehabilitation in prison is defunct.'
"My personal experience is - now I'm released since 2014 - but it wasn't great, the process of rehabilitation wasn't great.
"Even the transition from a closed prison to an open prison, I'll be honest with you, it was that much of a mind mess with me, that within my first week of being in an open prison I asked to be transferred back to the hell of what is a closed prison".
"I was institutionalised completely, it was night and day.
"I went to go asleep, went to wake up, went to move to the first officer I met in Loughan House handed me a key and said 'yeah, just be in your room at 6 and 9 for a check'.
"And I said 'well what do I do now?' and he said 'whatever you want' - and I didn't like it.
"And this is a common re-occurrence with prisoners when they get shifted.
"I don't knock or bash the Irish Prison Service, I think they do as good as they can, but I do believe that the process of rehabilitation... there should be more emphasis on that, in my opinion".