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.
2nd April 2021
IPRT and Mental Health Reform welcome the joint announcement by the Ministers for Justice and Health, and Ministers of State with responsibility for mental health and the national drugs strategy, of the establishment of a High Level Taskforce to consider the mental health and addiction challenges of persons interacting with the criminal justice system.
19th March 2021
IPRT comment featured in reporting by the Irish Examiner on parliamentary questions relating to mental health and addiction services in prisons.
4th March 2021
MEDIA ADVISORY: IPRT welcomes the publication of a new Probation Service research report on the prevalence of mental health problems among persons under probation supervision.
18th January 2021
Common issues echoed across various Visiting Committee annual reports for 2019 include: overcrowding, the use and impact of restricted regimes, visiting, the closure of schools/workshops due to staffing levels, and concerning levels of unmet mental health needs across the prison estate.
13th November 2020
IPRT made a short submission to the Joint Committee on Disability Matters, focusing on our 2020 research report, ‘Making Rights Real for People with Disabilities in Prison’.
24th August 2020
The second report from the Irish Prison Service Self-Harm Assessment and Data Analysis (SADA) Project, has been published.
29th July 2020
MEDIA ADVISORY: A briefing detailing the experiences of people cocooning in Irish prisons published today (29.07.2020) by the Office of the Inspector of Prisons demonstrates the need for enhanced prison oversight and the longer-term ineffectiveness of COVID-19 responses that rely on prolonged confinement in prisons.
15th January 2020
This report examines the rights and experiences of people with disabilities in Irish prisons. Through an international literature review, legislative analysis, stakeholder interviews, and interviews with prisoners and prison staff, it aims to shed light on a previously under-explored area.
7th December 2019
The case of a homeless man, suffering from brain damage, who has been held on remand for over a year in Mountjoy prison has received widespread national media attention. The case raises a number of systemic issues that IPRT draws attention to here.
23rd July 2019
The Irish Times reports on an increase in the number of assaults on prison staff. Minister Charlie Flanagan calls for greater measures to address the issue of mental health in prison.