19th March 2019
IPRT welcomed the opportunity to provide input on the Irish Prison Service Draft Strategic Plan 2019-2021 (the ‘Strategic Plan’). In our submission, IPRT provides a brief commentary on actions currently included in the draft plan, and proposes new actions for inclusion under each of the five pillars (Staff Support; Care and Rehabilitation; Custody and Security; Capital Investment Strategy; and Governance).
As an overarching point, the Strategic Plan should include a general recognition of the centrality of human rights and equality duties for all those involved in the system (whether as staff or prisoners). A stated commitment to compliance with both domestic and international human rights obligations and best practice should be included as an overarching goal of the Strategic Plan. This should include progress to meeting the “public sector equality duty” set out under s.42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Act 2014. Actions included in the Strategic Plan should also be informed by a commitment to working towards full compliance with European and international minimum human rights standards, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the ‘Mandela Rules’). The Strategic Plan should also consider relevant recommendations of the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality Report on Penal Reform (2013), the Strategic Review of Penal Policy Final Report (2014), and the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality Report on Penal Reform and Sentencing (2018).
Read the IPRT submission in full here.
Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.