The Irish Prison Service Annual Report 2012 was published alongside the Probation Service Annual Report 2012 and the Joint Irish Prison Service & Probation Service Strategic Plan 2013-2015 on 8th May 2013. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr. Alan Shatter, also published the 2012 annual reports of the Visiting Committees for Castlerea and Cloverhill Prisons and the Dóchas Centre on 7th May 2013.
IPRT welcomed the new strategy for cooperation between the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service as a positive initiative, but believes any such initiative will be limited in its effectiveness for as long as prisons are overcrowded and unsafe. To this end, IPRT calls on the Minister for Justice to take radical steps to reduce prison numbers in the short term, such as commuting all sentences of under six months, increasing standard remission to 33% and incentivised remission to 50%, and introducing an amnesty for fines.
Figures released in the annual reports and strategic plan also highlighted other issues of concern, including the high numbers of prisoners held on protection and 23-hour lock up, ongoing inhumane conditions in Cork Prison and ‘creeping penal expansion’ which has seen Midlands Prison increase its capacity to 900. IPRT calls on Government to progress with urgency the Irish Prison Service strategy for prisoners requiring protection and revisit the decision to park the issue of degrading conditions in Cork while awaiting the building of a new prison.
Publication of the reports and strategy were covered by many media outlets, including comment by IPRT. See below for more details.
- Irish Prison Service Annual Report 2012
- Probation Service Annual Report 2012
- Joint Irish Prison Service & Probation Service Strategic Plan 2013-2015
- Castlerea Prison Visiting Committee Annual Report 2012
- Cloverhill Prison Visiting Committee Annual Report 2012
- Dóchas Centre Visiting Committee Annual Report 2012
- Dept. of Justice: ‘Minister Shatter publishes Prison Visiting Committee Reports’
- Minister Shatter’s speech at the launch of the Irish Prison Service & Probation Service Strategic Plan 2013-2015
- IPRT: ‘Radical action needed to address stubbornly high prison numbers and meet basic duty of providing safe custody for all prisoners’
- Newstalk ‘Breakfast’: Tuberculosis present in Irish prisons (8th May 2015)
- RTÉ ‘Morning Ireland’: Concerns of overcrowding in some Irish prisons (8th May 2015)
- RTÉ: Irish Penal Reform Trust calls for consistency in community service sentencing (8th May 2013)
- Irish Examiner (Front page): Ireland tops EU table for prisoner release (8th May 2013)
- Irish Examiner: Number of women sent to prison up 26% since 2010 (9th May 2013)
- Irish Independent: Shatter ramps up criticism on jailing of minor offenders (9th May 2013)
- Cork News: Concern over Slopping Out in Cork Prison (10th May 2013)
- Irish Examiner: Study: 25% of St Pat’s inmates at risk of psychosis (14th May 2013)
- Newstalk ‘Breakfast’: More people than ever being jailed in Ireland for non-payment of fines relating to their TV licences (15th May 2013)