IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Round Up: Older People in Prison Report Launch

3rd October 2016

Last Friday (30 September 2016), the eve of the UN International Day of the Older Person, IPRT launched it's latest report, 'In Here Time Stands Still: The Rights, Needs and Experiences of Older People in Prison'. Compiled by Joanna Joyce and Dr. Tina Maschi, the report focused on six key issues faced by older people in prison; physical and mental health needs, mobility and the physical environment, social care needs, bullying and victimisation, participation in prison programmes, and release planning and resettlement. 

Launched by Senator David Norris, the report used desk-based literature reviews and qualitative interviews with prisoners and professional stakeholders to compile clear recommendations, reflecting international best practice as well as the experiences of research participants and professional stakeholders. While the report noted some positive experiences of prison life, the authors were seriously concerned by a number of issues, including:

  • The detention of prisoners with dementia and other serious conditions, which in certain situations may amount to inhumane treatment;
  • The confinement of prisoners to their cell or bed, due to the unsuitability of the prison environment for those with mobility issues;
  • The provision of care, in certain cases including the changing of incontinence pads, by other prisoners.

IPRT hopes that the findings and recommendations of this report will aid the Irish Prison Service in its development of its Older Prisoners' Strategy. 

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