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.

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.

IPRT response to the publication of four further COVID-19 Thematic Inspection reports

20th December 2021

The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has welcomed the publication of the Office of the Inspector of Prisons’ COVID-19 Thematic Inspection reports. The reports are based on short visits by the Inspectorate to Arbour Hill Prison, Cork Prison, Portlaoise Prison and Shelton Abbey Open Centre.

Draft Report on Ireland’s third UPR

12th November 2021

IPRT summarises the recommendations relating to the work of IPRT made by States during the review, following the adoption and publication of the Draft Report on Friday 12th November.

Ireland’s human rights record under the spotlight by UN peers – IPRT

10th November 2021

PRESS NOTICE: Ireland’s human rights record, including its failure to ratify international human rights treaties and its treatment of people in prison, will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council Working Group as part of Ireland’s third Universal Period Review (UPR) from 13.30 today.

Recruitment for the post of Inspector of Prisons (Chief Inspector)

8th November 2021

The closing date for applications to the post of Inspector of Prisons (Chief Inspector) is 3pm Thursday 18 November 2021.

IPRT presentation to Universal Periodic Review (UPR) pre-session

7th October 2021

IPRT was one of the civil society organisations chosen to make a statement at the pre-session meeting of Ireland’s UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 7th October 2021.

Penal Reform International: Short Guide to the European Prison Rules

27th September 2021

In this short guide, the key requirements of the European Prison Rules are highlighted by Penal Reform International, with an asterisk (*) placed next to any rule that was brought in after the 2020 revision.

First prison inspection reports since the outset of the pandemic published – IPRT

3rd August 2021

MEDIA ADVISORY: Prison inspection reports warn that while restrictions in Irish prisons have limited the spread of COVID-19, a “sense of complacency” could be setting in across prisons, with the Office of the Inspector of Prisons voicing concerns that increased restrictions risk becoming “the new norm”.

Annual report on prisons shows some positives, but robust oversight is lacking – IPRT

30th July 2021

MEDIA ADVISORY: In response to this Annual Report, IPRT is calling for the Minister for Justice to publish all completed COVID-19 Thematic Prison Inspection reports and for the Irish Prison Service to publish prison census data.

UK: HM Inspectorate of Prisons publishes Annual Report 2020-21

20th July 2021

HM Inspectorate of Prisons has released its annual report on prisons in England and Wales for the year 2020-21, covering the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Inspector Charlie Taylor acknowledged that, for those living and working in prisons, this had been “a year like no other”.

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

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