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Ebulletin #58

24th June 2010

In this edition:

  1.  Introduction
  2.  IPRT AGM + Open Forum 2010
  3. Prison Law Seminar Series
  4. First Annual IPRT Supporters Lunch
  5. “Save the Date”: 23rd Sept 2010
  6. Upcoming Events 



Welcome to the sixth ebulletin of 2010, in which we would like to flag a few upcoming IPRT events:

This year’s AGM - which takes place this coming Monday, 28th June, 2010 in Dublin - will be followed by an Open Forum entitled ‘Exploding Prisoner Numbers – Causes, Effects and Solutions’. At last year’s event, we had contributions from the Irish Prison Service, Department of Justice, members of the Prison Officers Association, prison chaplains, community sector workers, and more. The Q&A was quite heated and we are hoping for a repeat performance… Everyone is welcome to the Open Forum; please spread the word to anyone interested in identifying practical solutions to Ireland’s prisons crisis.

Then on 13th July, the sixth Prison Law Seminar takes place in Dublin, on the topic ‘Litigating Prison Conditions’. Then on 22nd July first Annual IPRT Supporters Lunch on 22nd July in Dublin. The summer months will be spent preparing for our 1-day Conference on 23rd September 2010, at which we will be making a solid case for the potential in shifting resources from justice to prevention and early intervention strategies.

We hope to see you all at least at one of our upcoming events!

Finally, thank you to everyone who sponsored our efforts on the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon – check out our (slightly sodden) photo’s on Facebook.

The IPRT Team

Keep up to date on IPRT news and activities between e-bulletins:

W: www.iprt.ie / Tw: www.twitter.com/iprt / Fb: www.facebook.com/irishpenalreformtrust


 2. IPRT AGM + Open Forum 2010

The 2010 AGM of IPRT will take place on Monday, 28th June, 2010 at the Morrison Hotel on Ormond Quay, Dublin. The AGM will be followed by an Open Forum, entitled ‘Exploding Prisoner Numbers – Causes, Effects and Solutions’.

Prisons in Ireland are chronically overcrowded, with an annual rate of increase in numbers of almost 10%. This surge in the use of detention has occurred with little or no policy deliberation. The IPRT Open Forum, which takes place on Monday 28th June, 2010 at 6pm in Dublin, is an opportunity to let us know what YOU think. A panel of experts representing the key elements of the criminal justice system offer different views, and - with contributions from IPRT members and an audience of policy-makers and stakeholders within the penal system - the Forum will identify practical measures to address this burning issue within our penal system.

Contributors at the event will include:

  •  Chairperson: Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons
  •  Dr Mary Rogan, Irish Penal Reform Trust - Current Trends in Prison Population
  • Tom O’Malley, NUI Galway and the Irish Sentencing Information System - Overview of Sentencing Patterns
  • Vivian Geiran, Director of Operations, The Probation Service - The Use of Community Sanctions
  • Louis Harkin, Assistant Commissioner, An Garda Síochána -Crime Rates and Crime Detection

The AGM takes place at 4pm; the Open Forum begins at 6pm. All members are encouraged to come along to the AGM for a full update on the activities of the year past and the year to come. (The Open Forum is open to all.)

For more details about the AGM + Open Forum, click here.

To register for this free event, please email: info@iprt.ie or register online here.

Not yet a member of IPRT? Annual membership is just €20 for students, €40 for individuals, €80 for organizations/firms, and free to prisoners and their families. We can’t promise you lots of free stuff, but by becoming a member of IPRT you will be expressing your support for urgent penal reform in Ireland.
Why not consider becoming a member now.


 3. Prison Law Seminar: Litigating Prison Conditions

The sixth Prison Law Seminar, run in conjunction with the Irish Criminal Bar Association and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, will take place on July 13th 2010 at 5pm at the Distillery Building, Church St, Dublin 7 and will address the issue of “Litigating Prison Conditions”. 

The focus of the seminar will be on current substantive and procedural issues around litigating prison conditions. Speakers Paul O'Higgins SC and Michael Lynn BL have recently been involved in significant actions around prison conditions (slopping out and prison overcrowding), drawing on both constitutional and ECHR arguments, while Des Hogan of the IHRC will present a paper on the potential role of the Irish Human Rights Commission in prison related actions.


  • Paul O'Higgins, SC
  •  Michael Lynn BL
  • Des Hogan, Director of Enquiries, Legal Services and Administration /Deputy Chief Executive, Irish Human Rights Commission

This seminar series is hosted jointly by Irish Penal Reform Trust, the Irish Criminal Bar Association and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, and seminars qualify for Continuing Professional Development for both solicitors and barristers.

Attendance fees:

  •  IPRT members: free
  •  ICBA/DSBA members, prison staff: €10
  • Others: €20 

Sign up to become an IPRT member here.

For more information about the seminar or to reserve a place, please contact Mary at info@iprt.ie or tel: 01-874 1400


 4.  First Annual IPRT Supporters Lunch 

IPRT’s first Annual IPRT Supporters Lunch will take place on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 at the Winding Stair Restaurant on Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1. The event is intended as a networking opportunity for all practitioners interested in prison related matters, and will hear from John Lonergan, recently retired Governor of Mountjoy.

For more information, please contact Mary Gaffney at info@iprt.ie or tel: 01-8741400


5.  Save the Date: 23rd September 2010

On 23rd Sept 2010 in Dublin, IPRT will host a 1-day Conference focusing on the potential for a shift in justice resources to prevention and early intervention. At the Conference, a new research report will be launched - working title Choosing to Tackle the Causes of Crime: The Case for a Shift of Justice Resources to Prevention and Early Intervention – along with a public awareness campaign. Our goals in this campaign are to secure a political commitment to prevention and early intervention as a central element in criminal justice policy, and to raise public awareness of the arguments for prevention and early intervention in a criminal justice context. Partners on this research project are Barnardos and IAYPIC.

More details to follow at: http://www.iprt.ie/current-campaign


6. Upcoming Events

  • From 23rd to 25th June, the 13th International Conference on Penal Abolition takes place at Queen’s University, Belfast on the theme of “Abolition, Reform and the Politics of Global Incarceration”. Please contact Deaglan Coyle for further information.
  • On 28th June 2010, IPRT will hold its 2010 AGM and annual Open Forum. This year’s title is ‘Exploding Prisoner Numbers – Causes, Effects and Solutions’. For more details, see: www.iprt.ie/contents/1707 
  • From 12th to 14th July, the University of Leicester will host the 2010 British Society of Criminology Conference, on the theme of “Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Dilemmas and Diversity in Criminology”. Please send enquiry emails to the conference coordinator.
  • On 13th July, the sixth Prison Law Seminar, run in conjunction with the Irish Criminal Bar Association and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, will take place at Distillery Building and will address the issue of “Litigating Prison Conditions”. For more details, see: www.iprt.ie/contents/1706
  • On 22nd July, the first Annual IPRT Supporters Lunch, will take place. For more details, contact: info@iprt.ie
  • From 8th to 11th September, the 10th European Society of Criminology Conference takes place in Liege, Belgium.
  • On 23rd Sept 2010 – “save the date” for the IPRT Conference focusing on Prevention & Early Intervention in Dublin, in partnership with Barnardos and IAYPIC.
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