Irish Penal Reform Trust

Information for Prisoners and their Families

IPRT is an evidence-based advocacy organisation, which achieves reform through campaigning and influencing policy.

Although we are not individual service providers, it is extremely important to our work that we hear from prisoners, their families, and others, about issues that are affecting them. This greatly informs our work. Contact details for organisations which may be able to offer assistance are included below.

The 'Families Matter Too' booklet is an essential read for families of prisoners in Ireland. This booklet was produced by The South East Family Support Network and U-Casadh to bridge the gap in the information provided to families affected by imprisonment. You can read about our work in the area of prisoners' families here: "Picking Up the Pieces": The Rights and Needs of Children and Families Affected by Imprisonment.

The Children's Rights Alliance provides an information line for children, young people and their families or people who are working with them to access legal information on their behalf. More information on the service is available on their website

Information on Prisons

A wealth of information is available on the Citizens Information website including:

The resources under the headings below are designed to relieve the confusion that often accompanies a prison sentence. 

Visiting prison: What should I expect?

Links to visiting times and requirements for each prison, and a short video explaining the visiting process for families.

Who can provide support?

Contact details for organisations that provide advice and/or assistance to prisoners and former prisoners, and their friends and families.

Leaving prison: What now?

Links to useful information and programmes.

Prison Rules

Prison Rules set out the various conditions in prisons in Ireland, including: admission, registration, accommodation, visiting rights, health, discipline, education, etc.

Supporting Families of Prisoners

This article, by Sharon Harty of CASP, was first published in ‘Changing Ireland’. The article outlines tips for community activists and those working with families of prisoners.

Your Rights as a Prisoner | READ & LISTEN

'Know Your Rights – Your Rights as a Prisoner' aims to help prisoners understand the rights they have while in prison. It is written in everyday language. It is available in booklet, audio and translated versions.

The role of schools in supporting families affected by imprisonment

A report has been published by Scottish charity 'Families Outside' on the role which schools may have in supporting those families affected by imprisonment.

Financial advice for Travellers with a family member in prison (2020)

A MABS guide for organisations working with families of Travellers in prison (2020).

Children's Book: 'The Night Dad Went To Jail'

A children's book, by Melissa Higgins, designed to help children understand what is happening when a family member goes to prison.

What can IPRT do for people in prison?

An information sheet detailing what the IPRT does to help those in Irish prisons

How can I make a complaint about a media issue?

The Office of the Press Ombudsman and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland can help prisoners through the complaints process.

Deaths in Prison Custody: Information for Families & Others Affected

A booklet designed to provide some information about what may happen after a person dies in prison and what the law requires in these circumstances. It also includes details of organisations who can provide further information and/or assistance in dealing with this time of grief.

"Picking Up the Pieces": The Rights and Needs of Children and Families Affected by Imprisonment

This IPRT research report details the rights, needs and experiences of families and children of prisoners. It follows extensive consultations with children, families, support services and relevant agencies.

Storybook Dads: maintaining family bonds

Storybook Dads is a project run in prisons which helps maintain the vital emotional bond between prisoners and their children by helping offenders to record bedtime stories on CDs and DVDs: "Keeping families together helps to reduce re-offending by up to six times." web directory

A new resource from Mental Health Reform,, is a guide to the services and supports.

Drugs in prison: What do I need to know?

Information and services related to drug use and addiction support in Irish prisons.

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



Contact us

  • Tel: 01 874 1400
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