Irish Penal Reform Trust

Accountability

IPRT campaigns for the positive transformation of systems of accountability and governance of the penal system in the area of inspection, complaints and monitoring.

We believe that structures and practices which support better accountability in the penal system should be introduced. These structures and mechanisms include: a properly resourced independent prisoner complaints system such as the Ombudsman; the introduction of domestic legislation to achieve the ratification of OPCAT; the strengthening of the Office of Inspector of Prisons and reform of the Prison Visiting Committees; and the establishment of a fully independent Prisons Authority on a statutory basis.

IPRT continues to articulate and promote a deeper appreciation of the concept and benefits of accountability in the penal system among relevant stakeholders.

IPRT welcomes the publication of the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill

24th June 2022

IPRT statement on the publication of the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill by the Minister for Justice on 24 June 2022.

Alternative Report on Ireland’s Fifth Review under ICCPR

30th May 2022

IPRT welcomed the opportunity to provide this alternative report to the UN Human Rights Committee on Ireland’s fifth review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

IPRT welcomes the appointment of new Inspector of Prisons

27th May 2022

MEDIA RELEASE: The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has welcomed the appointment of Mark Kelly as the new Inspector of Prisons and has called on him to prioritise the frequency of prison inspections when he takes up his new role.

Publication of four further COVID-19 Thematic Inspection reports

29th April 2022

The final four reports on these Thematic Inspections were published on 28 April 2022, relating to Midlands Prison, Loughan House, Castlerea Prison and the Dóchas Centre.

Minister for Justice publishes Justice Plan 2022

28th March 2022

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD has published Justice Plan 2022, outlining 159 actions to continue building a justice system that works for everyone.

Visiting Committee Annual Reports 2020

9th March 2022

IPRT notes the publication of the first Visiting Committee reports that relate to the pandemic period.

Irish Penal Reform Trust notes areas of regression in the penal system over five years

7th February 2022

MEDIA ADVISORY: In publishing the fifth edition of PIPS, IPRT finds that the penal system – in some key areas of practice – has regressed over the last five years. We called for reforms in custodial sentencing policy so that prison is used as a last resort.

Progress in the Penal System: The need for transparency (2021)

7th February 2022

Progress in the Penal System 2021 (or 'PIPS 2021'), the fifth in a series of annual reports benchmarking progress in Ireland's penal system.

UK: Addressing alcohol and drug-related deaths within the criminal justice system

14th January 2022

A new UK report entitled “Protecting lives: a cross-system approach to addressing alcohol and drug-related deaths within the criminal justice system” presents the joint findings of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAPDC) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) on alcohol and drug-related deaths in the criminal justice system.

Office of the Inspector of Prisons publishes COVID-19 Prison Staff Survey

21st December 2021

This prison staff survey complements the COVID-19 Thematic Inspections and focuses on the perspective of both staff working in and managing prisons.

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Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.

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