5th November 2021
IPRT welcomes the Irish Prison Service (IPS) decision to review and update the Prison Rules 2007, and particularly welcomes the public consultation held in respect of this review.
The drafting of the Prison Rules 2007, and the subsequent amendments made to those Rules over the years, has historically been an internal government process, driven by the Department of Justice and the Irish Prison Service with little external oversight. This review, and the much more transparent way in which the review is to be run, is welcomed by IPRT. However, IPRT does have concerns about the review. IPRT believes that the strongest possible mechanism for a review of the Rules lies externally of the Irish Prison Service and the Department of Justice. For example, the Mental Health Commission (MHC) – a regulatory body – produces the guidance and standards for mental health services, rather than the services themselves developing the relevant rules.
This submission supplements the brief general remarks made by IPRT on 30th September 2021 (attached at Appendix 1 of the submission), and provides detailed proposed changes in respect of a number of specific rules.
In this submission, IPRT lays out the proposed change to a Rule, followed by the rationale underpinning the reason for this change. The submission, however, does not address each and every rule in its entirety. IPRT has taken the opportunity to address the key areas within the Rules that we consider in need of reform, and which fall within our particular expertise. In reviewing the Rules, we have been guided by the standards set out in IPRT’s Progress in the Penal System (PIPS) reports.
The full submission with our proposed changes can be accessed below, but the following general points apply to our submission:
Read the IPRT Submission to the Irish Prison Service Public Consultation on the Review of Prison Rules here or download it below.
Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.