Recommencement of physical visits: Physical visits to prisons have been recommencing on a phased prison by prison basis. While we generally welcome this step, we are continuing to call for the publication of the new Framework for the Unwinding of Prison Restrictions, which is informed by the Government’s roadmap for reopening and is guiding the decisions made by the IPS. In the absence of publication of this Framework, we have concerns about the proportionality of some of the restrictions on visiting, including the blanket limit of one visitor aged under 18 per prisoner. More info from the IPS here.
Vaccination: After months of uncertainty for people in prison and their families, mass vaccination is underway in Irish prisons. While welcome, we are dismayed by the delays in access to vaccination for this at-risk population. We have been clear from the outset that vaccination of the prison population must be met with the unwinding of harsh restrictions, and the resumption of access to education, workshops, therapeutic programmes, family visits, community supports, and other regimes which support reintegration. More on our position here.
COVID-19 Prison Staff Survey: The Office of the Inspector of Prisons conducted a survey to assess the views of prison staff (officers, teachers etc) to COVID-19 restrictions, and to understand the impact of the measures imposed on staff and prisoners. The preliminary findings were published on the OIP website, with 90% of respondents believing that prisoner well-being was impacted by COVID-19.
[Back to top]