Irish Penal Reform Trust

Mental Health

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.

Joint Committee on Future of Mental Health Care: Final report

18th October 2018

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Future of Mental Health Care has published its final report, with a core recommendation of increasing the number of acute beds from 22 to 50 per 100,000 over 3 years.

IPRT Presentation to the Joint Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care

23rd May 2018

In our appearance before the Committee, IPRT made a number of recommendations, including investment and use of prevention and early intervention supports.

'Mental Illness in Irish Prisoners'

14th November 2017

'Mental Illness in Irish Prisoners: Psychiatric Morbidity in Sentenced, Remanded and Newly Committed Prisoners' (Kennedy et al., 2005) was the first systematic and representative survey of mental health in the Irish Prison population.

IPRT Submission on Mental Health and Criminal Justice

27th April 2012

IPRT made a detailed Submission to the Cross Sectoral Group on Mental Health and Criminal Justice in April 2012.

IPRT Briefing: Mental Health in Prisons (preliminary)

17th November 2009

A short document outlining the issue of mental health in Irish prisons, with six key recommendations.

Out of Mind, Out of Sight: Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill Prisoners

30th April 2001

A report examining the placement of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement in Irish prisons, by Dr. Valerie Bresnihan on behalf of IPRT.

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

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