Irish Penal Reform Trust

Health in Prison

IPRT believes that responsibility for the provision of healthcare should be transferred from the IPS to the HSE. In addition to this, IPRT believes that those with mental illness should be diverted away from the criminal justice system and should be treated within a community setting, where possible. 

This section includes posts on health in prison, including mental health and drug policy. 

Irish Prisons and COVID-19: One Year On

12th April 2021

One year on from the imposition of COVID-19 restrictions, this IPRT briefing outlines what we have learned from the response to the pandemic and the steps that are now required in order to meet human rights obligations and address the effects of COVID-19 on people in prison and their families.

HIQA: Evidence for vaccination of those living or working in crowded conditions

31st March 2021

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published a report to inform the national policy on the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to those aged 18-64 years living or working in crowded accommodation, where self-isolation and social distancing are difficult to maintain. This includes prisoners and prison staff.

COVID-19 experience highlights positive and timely change is possible in Ireland’s prison system - IPRT

25th January 2021

PRESS RELEASE: Improvements made during pandemic threatened by risk of return to ‘old normal’ according to PIPS 2020 report.

IPRT featured in radio piece shortlisted for Headline Award

16th November 2020

A student exploration of mental illness and disability in the prison system in Ireland, featuring IPRT, has been shortlisted for the Headline Student Journalist Award 2020.

UK: Avoidable natural deaths in prison custody

5th October 2020

This new report aims to identify how natural deaths in prison might be prevented, where possible, and end of life care managed with dignity and compassion. This report is especially relevant as prisons face new challenges regarding healthcare amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IPRT Submission to Oireachtas Special Committee on COVID-19 Response

9th September 2020

IPRT was invited by the Oireachtas Special Committee on COVID-19 Response to make a submission on how the State's legislative framework contributed to the response to COVID-19 and how the legislative framework might be improved upon.

'Self-harm in Irish Prisons 2018' report published

24th August 2020

The second report from the Irish Prison Service Self-Harm Assessment and Data Analysis (SADA) Project, has been published.

Failure to transfer terminally-ill prisoner urgently to hospital may have amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment – IPRT

14th August 2020

MEDIA ADVISORY: IPRT is gravely concerned at the delay experienced by a terminally-ill prisoner, who subsequently died, in accessing urgent emergency medical care. The failure to bring the man, who was in severe pain, urgently from Midlands Prison to hospital in June 2018 is described as a “major failing” by the Inspector of Prisons in a report (published Wednesday 12th August 2020).

Welcome opportunity for renewed and sustained reform – IPRT congratulates Ministers on appointments

29th June 2020

The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has today congratulated Minister Helen McEntee TD on her appointment as Minister for Justice. IPRT is looking forward to working with the Minister on the implementation of evidence-led justice commitments in the Programme for Government.

‘Our Shared Future’ – Draft Programme for Government 2020+

15th June 2020

IPRT strongly welcomes many of the proposals in the draft Programme for Government. In particular, we welcome that the document reflects all of the five recommendations IPRT campaigned on in advance of the 2020 General Election.

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



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