Mental illness in the context of prison must be viewed as a health issue requiring an effective and prompt health intervention, including diversion to appropriate treatment services outside prison. However, people with mental health issues continue to enter the prison system due to a lack of access to appropriate mental health services in the community.
This section includes posts on issues relating to mental health in prison and the wider criminal justice system. If you are looking for general health-related information, click here.
11th May 2023
Irish Penal Reform Trust notes the publication on 11 May 2023 by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health of the Health Needs Assessment (HNA) for the Irish Prison Service.
25th October 2022
On Tuesday 25 October 2022 the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) and Irish Criminal Bar Association (ICBA) held a Prison Law Seminar on the topic of Access to Rights for People Detained in Secure Forensic Mental Health Facilities in Ireland.
25th October 2022
The Irish Penal Reform Trust launched an independently commissioned scoping study on access to rights for people detained in secure forensic mental health facilities in Ireland on Tuesday 25 October 2022....
30th September 2022
The Irish Penal Reform Trust has today (Fri 30 September 2022) welcomed the Final Report and recommendations of the High Level Task Force to consider the mental health and addiction challenges of those who come into contact with the criminal justice sector.
13th September 2022
As Ireland emerges from the emergency phase of the pandemic, there are many lessons for the authorities in regards the management of COVID-19 within prisons. In this briefing, IPRT makes nine recommendations for action.
8th September 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: In response to the publication of the Irish Prison Service Annual report 2021, IPRT is calling on the Minister for Justice to make immediate efforts to adequately and appropriately resource the proposed actions in the recently published Review of Policy Options for Prison and Penal Reform.
27th July 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: IPRT welcomed the clear focus by the UN Human Rights Committee on issues pertaining to people deprived of their liberty including prison overcrowding, access to adequate mental healthcare, the failure to publish reports relating to the Dóchas Centre, the overrepresentation of Travellers in the penal system and the need to ratify OPCAT.
3rd July 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: IPRT will ask the UN Human Rights Committee to question State officials on how Ireland is meeting its human rights obligations to people in prison, as part of the State’s fifth review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
22nd April 2022
IPRT welcomed the opportunity to make a brief submission to the Sub-Committee on Mental Health regarding its role in conducting Pre-Legislative Scrutiny on the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill.
29th March 2022
IPRT Senior Policy and Research Officer Sarahjane McCreery and IPRT Acting Executive Director Molly Joyce appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee as part of an examination of rehabilitative opportunities within the prison system.