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IPRT urges renewed focus on reform on appointment of new Director General of the Irish Prison Service

13th December 2018


IPRT urges renewed focus on reform on appointment of new Director General of the Irish Prison Service - IPRT

The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has today welcomed the appointment of Ms. Caron McCaffrey as Director General of the Irish Prison Service and emphasized that the reform of the penal system must now strengthen and gather pace under her leadership.

Responding today to the announcement of the appointment of Ms. McCaffrey, Deirdre Malone, Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust said:

“IPRT congratulates Caron McCaffrey on her appointment and looks forward to continuing to work with her to reform the penal system during her tenure. Her appointment is a positive opportunity for the IPS to redouble its commitment to reform of the penal system.    

We look forward to engaging robustly with the new Director General, along with all other stakeholders, to ensure the momentum for prison reform not only survives, but thrives during her leadership.”

While many progressive reforms in Ireland’s penal system have been achieved since 2011, a number of critical goals remain, including:

  • the elimination of solitary confinement;
  • the ratification of Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT);
  • the establishment of an independent complaints mechanism, such as a Prisoner Ombudsman;
  • the implementation of the Irish Prison Service and Probation Service Joint Strategy for Women who Offend.

For media enquiries, contact Deirdre on +00353 83 441 7577


1. Figures

Today, Thursday 13 December 2018 there are 3,958 people in prison custody in Ireland.

  • 6 of the 10 closed prisons in Ireland were overcrowded
  • Dóchas female prison was operating at 125% capacity (131 women for 105 spaces)
  • Limerick female prison was operating at 163% capacity (39 women for 24 spaces)

Source: https://www.irishprisons.ie/information-centre/statistics-information/2015-daily-prisoner-population/2018-prison-populations/

2. IPRT ‘Progress in the Penal System’ Project

The Irish Penal Reform Trust launched a major new report 'Progress in the Penal System: A framework for penal reform' (PIPS) on 26th October 2018. The report provides a comprehensive overview of human rights and best practice in Ireland’s penal system. IPRT has developed 35 standards against which the prevailing situation in Ireland’s penal system is tracked, monitored and assessed on an annual basis. A pdf of the report is available here: http://www.iprt.ie/contents/3323

3. Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) | www.iprt.ie 

 The Irish Penal Reform Trust (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.

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