Irish Penal Reform Trust

International News

Mapping Solitary Confinement project

31st January 2024

IPRT contributed to the Mapping Solitary Confinement project, which seeks to draw a picture of how, when, why and for how long people can be placed in solitary confinement (also known as 'segregation' 'isolation' and 'secure care', amongst other names) in different countries across the world, and what their daily lives look like. The project, published in January 2024, also aims to identify common patterns and issues as well as good practice, and help inform reform efforts.

UK: College of Policing - Imprisonment and other custodial sanctions

30th November 2023

Results from over 100+ studies in the UK show that on average, evidence suggests that custodial sanctions increase reoffending compared to non-custodial sanctions.

ECHR: Child's right to regular contact with a parent in detention safeguarded

21st March 2023

A ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (21 March) that safeguards a child's right to regular contact with a parent in detention, specifically in this case pre-trial detention, has marked a major development in European case law.

NI: Rehabilitation of offenders consultation responses and next steps

21st February 2022

The report on a consultation on proposals to reform rehabilitation periods in Northern Ireland has been published by the Department of Justice NI. The Minister is now progressing plans for reform of the current scheme.

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.

PRI and HRI: COVID-19 vaccinations for prison populations and staff

14th December 2021

This report by Penal Reform International (PRI) and Harm Reduction International (HRI) details how prison populations and staff were included in national vaccination plans internationally, and maps the current roll-out of vaccines in prison worldwide.

UK: The Impact of Community Support on Diverting Women from the Criminal Justice System

21st November 2021

A new report by Advance details the findings of their research on diverting women from the criminal justice system, and some key recommendations. It also explains the work of the Women's Diversion Service, whose goal is to allow women to address the circumstances that led them to commit offences.

UK: Counting the Cost of Maternal Imprisonment

25th October 2021

This research found that a deep distrust of local authority social services, compounded by poor communication and information sharing, forms a significant barrier to engaging mothers with services that could help prevent them from offending and support prolonged desistance.

UK: Motherhood Challenged

18th October 2021

This executive summary of doctoral research by Dr Lucy Baldwin is based on in-depth research with 43 criminalised mothers, recording their experiences from their early lives, contact with the criminal justice system, prison and release.

NI: Employer Perspectives on Hiring People with Convictions in Northern Ireland

6th October 2021

Ulster University and NIACRO undertook a quantitative study to explore employer practices and concerns, and to investigate what may increase the likelihood of them hiring people with convictions. Less than 1% of employers surveyed stated they would ‘definitely not’ consider hiring someone with a conviction history

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