Irish Penal Reform Trust

Migrants & Minority Ethnic Groups

The disproportionate representation of migrants and minority ethnic groups in criminal justice systems across the globe is well documented. In Ireland, there has been some research on the rights and experience of migrants and ethnic minorities at policing and sentencing stages, and the over-representation of minority ethnic groups in the prison system has been highlighted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. However, broader issues of racial and ethnic equality in the penal system remain under-explored in an Irish context, particularly in terms of accessing rights and accessing justice.

In 2020, IPRT was awarded funding from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) to pursue a research and awareness-raising campaign focused on the rights and experiences of migrants and minority ethnic groups in the penal system in Ireland. 

Round-up: The rights, needs and experiences of foreign national and minority ethnic groups in the Irish penal system

27th April 2022

We launched “Sometimes I’m missing the words”: The rights, needs and experiences of foreign national and minority ethnic groups in the Irish penal system at a well-attended online event on Wednesday 27 April 2022.

"Sometimes I'm missing the words": The rights, needs and experiences of foreign national and minority ethnic groups in the Irish penal system

27th April 2022

Very little information exists on the needs and lived experiences of minority ethnic and foreign national prisoners in prisons and on probation in Ireland. This report aimed to bridge that gap and consider these needs and experiences within the context of relevant policy and law. 

Criminal Justice Sectoral Strategy 2022 – 2024

7th March 2022

The purpose of this first ever Criminal Justice Sectoral Strategy is to develop a shared vision for a more joined-up criminal justice system.

IPRT appears before Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community

21st October 2021

IPRT Executive Director Fíona Ní Chinnéide appeared before the Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community on Thursday 21st October to discuss Travellers’ experiences in prison in Ireland and related matters.

Penal Reform International: Short Guide to the European Prison Rules

27th September 2021

In this short guide, the key requirements of the European Prison Rules are highlighted by Penal Reform International, with an asterisk (*) placed next to any rule that was brought in after the 2020 revision.

UK: Reporting on Equalities in Prisons

6th September 2021

Analysis of IMB monitoring reports uncovered some inconsistencies and significant gaps in how IMBs report on equalities in prisons, primarily with respect to the number of equalities areas that are being reported on and the depth of reporting in these areas.

IPRT Submission to the National Anti-Racism Committee

14th July 2021

IPRT welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the public consultation of the National Anti-Racism Committee on the development of a new National Action Plan Against Racism, making seven core recommendations for change.

UK: A Record of Our Own - Lockdown Experiences of Ethnic Minority Prisoners

31st March 2021

This report by the Zahid Mubarek Trust (ZMT), in partnership with POPS and the Traveller Movement is an account of the challenges faced by minority ethnic prisoners in prison in England and Wales because of the lockdown measures employed by the prison authorities to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in prisons.

Uncovering anti‑Roma discrimination in criminal justice systems in Europe

29th March 2021

Fair Trials have published a report that focuses on Roma over-representation in the criminal justice systems in Romania, Spain, Hungary and Bulgaria. The findings from this report suggest that racist and anti-gypsyist views are normalised and imbedded within the criminal justice systems of the countries mentioned above.

Guest article: Exploring the rights and experiences of migrant and minority ethnic groups in the penal system in Ireland

25th March 2021

In this guest article, researchers from The Department of Law at Maynooth University write about the context for their research as part of IPRT’s upcoming ‘Access to Rights and Justice’ project.

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