IPRT made a Preliminary Submission to the IPS Working Group on Life-sentence Prisoners, informed by feedback received from life-sentenced prisoners at seminars held by IPRT in Midlands, Portlaoise, Mountjoy Prisons and the Training Unit over 2015 and 2016.
In the submission, we highlighted key areas for the Working Group to consider, such as:
- the heightened vulnerability of life-sentenced prisoners during the committal process;
- the need for clear, progressive, structured sentence management, to benefit prisoners, staff and the general prison environment;
- the importance of access to varied education, training and work programmes for life-sentenced prisoners;
- the obligation on the Irish Prison Service to ensure that the provision of healthcare is focused on a preventative approach, due to the reliance of life-sentenced prisoners on services over a prolonged period of time;
- the impact of long sentences and institutionalisation on a prisoner's ability to articulate and have the confidence to make complaints;
- the difficulty that a life-sentence poses to maintaining a family relationship.
A host of recommendations related to these key areas are outlined in the preliminary submission. Read it in full here.