Irish Penal Reform Trust

Human Rights in Prison

IPRT promotes a penal system that is: humane as experienced by people who are detained, protects and promotes human rights and equality, and strives to achieve international best practice in formal regimes, daily practices and overall culture.

It is the sentence of deprivation of liberty in itself that is the core punitive sanction, the conditions and treatment while in prison should not be used as additional punishment.

Accordingly, we believe that while restrictions on the freedom of movement are necessarily introduced while in prison, prisoners should retain all other rights to the greatest possible degree while serving their sentences. In particular, IPRT believes that prisoners have the right to be treated with dignity and respect for their rights; they have the right to safety and security of the person, the right to be treated humanely and be free from torture, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment.

We work to ensure that regimes in prisons and children detention facilities are humane, and reflect human rights standards as a minimum in the short term, striving for international best practice in the medium to long term.

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.

IPRT features on 'Conversations on the Margins' podcast

9th May 2022

IPRT Senior Policy and Research Officer, Sarahjane McCreery, spoke with Senator Lynn Ruane on the 'Conversations on the Margins' podcast about the work of IPRT.

Visiting Committee Annual Reports 2020

9th March 2022

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

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.

Round-up: Launch of Progress in the Penal System 2021

7th February 2022

The launch of the fifth edition of PIPS took place on Monday 7th February 2022 via Zoom.

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.

IPRT Submission to the 70th Pre-Sessional Working Group of the CESCR

7th January 2022

This is the Irish Penal Reform Trust’s first submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The submission makes the overarching point that Ireland is over-reliant on imprisonment as a response to social issues and socio-economic disadvantage.

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.

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

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