Irish Penal Reform Trust

IPRT Submission to Department of Justice Strategy Statement

20th November 2020

IPRT welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the Department of Justice on its upcoming Strategy Statement. This Strategy will follow ‘A safe fair and inclusive Ireland’, the Department of Justice and Equality Strategy Statement 2016 – 2019.

The IPRT submission engages with each of the five priority areas, as outlined by the Department of Justice.

Potential actions for the Strategy, raised throughout the IPRT submission include:

  • Renew the commitment to data and research in order to understand, address, and tackle the root causes of crime.
  • Introduce legislation to strengthen interagency co-operation to reduce harm.
  • Extend the Garda Youth Diversion Programmes to 18-24s, as outlined in the Draft Youth Justice Strategy.
  • Finalise the internal prisoner complaints system to facilitate prisoners' access to the Ombudsman.
  • Create a modern, flexible and transparent sentencing system.
  • Ensure the rights of victims, and parole candidates are met.
  • Support the mental health and addiction needs of persons in the criminal justice system
  • Reduce Harms and Invest in Communities.
  • Support people to move on from offending behaviour.
  • Ensure no immigration detainees are held in the Irish prison system.
  • Ensure digital transformation is inclusive of marginalised groups.
  • Ensure robust oversight and monitoring of key criminal justice agencies.
  • Eliminate solitary confinement in prisons.
  • Fully implement Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 (Public Sector Duty).
  • Fully meet obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and implement the Assisted DecisionMaking (Capacity) Act 2015.
  • Fully Implement the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021.

Where appropriate, each of the above IPRT recommended actions is accompanied by a relevant indicator of success.

Read the IPRT submission in full here or download it below.

[Please note that while the exact content of the submission is reflected in the PDF version of the submission, the submission was originally made via online survey through]

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



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