Irish Penal Reform Trust

International News

UK: Reporting on Equalities in Prisons

6th September 2021

Analysis of IMB monitoring reports uncovered some inconsistencies and significant gaps in how IMBs report on equalities in prisons, primarily with respect to the number of equalities areas that are being reported on and the depth of reporting in these areas.

USA: Common Justice – Solutions to Violence

6th September 2021

This report profiles 18 groups in the USA that focus on healing and safety but do not rely on the police or incarceration. It provides nights into progressive practices for intervening in violence as it occurs, building viable models for accountability, and centring survivors’ needs.

Northern Ireland: Parental contact allowed during prison visits

20th July 2021

The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) has re-introduced contact between parents and children under 11. This follows the resumption of in-person prison visits in Northern Ireland on 4 May.

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”.

Scottish Sentencing Council: Public perceptions of sentencing for sexual offences

8th July 2021

This research examines in-depth public perceptions of sentencing of sexual offences in Scotland, including the perceptions of victims of sexual offences.

SPT issues follow-up advice relating to COVID-19

24th June 2021

The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) has published new advice to States parties and national preventive mechanisms relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why people living and working in detention facilities should be included in national COVID-19 vaccination plans: advocacy brief

28th May 2021

Developed by WHO Health in Prisons Programme (HIPP), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Penal Reform International (PRI), this brief calls for the inclusion of people living and working in prisons in COVID-19 national vaccination plans.

UK: Protecting the best interests of the child when sentencing a primary carer

18th May 2021

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has submitted a series of proposed amendments to legislation that would amplify the rights of children of parents facing custodial sentences.

Global Prison Trends 2021

12th May 2021

This report by Penal Reform International and the Thailand Institute of Justice documents key trends over the past year, especially the impact of the pandemic on prison populations and staff, and how prisons worldwide have responded to these challenges.

UK: Covid-19 Transmission in Prison Settings

23rd April 2021

The research by SAGE presents evidence relating to: COVID-19 related-health outcomes of prisoners and prison staff, information on current control measures employed in prisons and their perceived effectiveness, the potential effectiveness of wider/additional control measures such as increased vaccination, considerations and concerns relating to the onward risk of infections and outbreaks in prisons, and the potential for prisons to become infection amplifiers/reservoirs.

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

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