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Government receives “fail grade” for inaction on commitment to end imprisonment of children in Ireland

23rd January 2012

The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) welcomes the publication of the Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card 2012 launched today (Monday 23rd January, 2012), noting that the Government has received its lowest grade (an ‘F’) for its performance on commitments to address the detention of children in St Patrick’s Institution. The Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card series is of critical importance in holding the government to account over its commitments to children.

IPRT supports the Children’s Rights Alliance in its calls on Government to commit capital funds for 2012 to build the National Children Detention Facility, and thus bring to an end the practice of imprisonment of children in Ireland.

Responding to the findings of the Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card 2012, Liam Herrick, Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust said:

“That the Government received its lowest grade for its performance on commitments to end imprisonment of children in Ireland underscores the seriousness of the issue. For every year that the Lusk project is delayed and no interim plan is put in place, hundreds of sixteen and seventeen year olds will have the negative experience of St Patrick’s Institution. It is a stain on Ireland’s human rights record, and it must be addressed with urgency.”

For media enquiries about the Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card 2012, please contact: Carys Thomas, Communications Director, Children’s Rights Alliance: T: (01) 662 9400; M: 087 770 2845

For media queries about children in the Irish prison system, or to arrange an interview with IPRT Executive Director, Liam Herrick, contact: Fíona Ní Chinnéide, Communications Officer, Irish Penal Reform Trust: T: (01) 874 1400; M: 087 181 2990

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

1. Children’s Rights Alliance, Report Card 2012

The Report Card 2012 was launched on Monday 23rd January, 2012. More information about the Children’s Rights Alliance Report Cards here: http://childrensrights.ie/campaign/report-card-series

2. Detention of Children in St Patrick’s Institution - Briefing

IPRT has outlined our serious concerns about the ongoing detention of children in St Patrick’s Institution, which is in breach of human rights standards, in a short Briefing. Download here: http://www.iprt.ie/contents/1703

3. Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT):

IPRT is Ireland's leading non-governmental organisation campaigning for the rights of everyone in prison and the progressive reform of Irish penal policy, with prison as a last resort: www.iprt.ie

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