Education, Arts and Sports in Prison

Peggy - JB, Portlaoise PrisonFacilities for education and the arts in prison are provided by the Prison Education Service, which consists of a partnership between the Irish Prison Service and a range of educational agencies from the community.

A number of programmes are co-funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, including the Writers in Prison scheme and the Visual artists in prisons scheme. Some information about the Prison Education Service is available on the IPS website.

News and media items on arts (music, drama, visual art) and sports in prison are included below.

Image taken from a gallery of artwork by prisoners. 

'Humans Sharing Spaces': The Irish Prison Service National Prison Creative Arts Exhibition 2017 10th March 2017

'Humans Sharing Spaces' is the Irish Prison Service National Prison Creative Arts Exhibition for 2017. It takes place in CHQ Dublin from 10th - 26th March, in partnership with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Read more

'Jail Guitar Doors' initiative in Mountjoy Prison 14th October 2014

Three of the most prized guitars from the late Philip Chevron’s collection were presented to music students inmates in Mountjoy Prison by Billy Bragg in the first JAIL GUITAR DOORS initiative in the Republic of Ireland on 14th October, 2014. Read more

UK Arts Alliance launches online library of resources: The Evidence Library 23rd April 2013

Online library of research and evaluation of the arts in the criminal justice system launched in November 2012 by Arts Alliance in the UK. Read more

RTÉ's Nationwide highlights artwork created by Limerick Prison inmates 13th March 2012

RTÉ's Nationwide visited Limerick Prison on last night's show, portraying artwork created by inmates which will be displayed in Kilmainham Gaol from Friday, March 16 to April 15, 2012. Read more

RTÉ 1 Arena: 'The Old Triangle' at the Abbey Theatre 21st February 2012

On Sunday February 26th 2012, a host of Irish writers and musicians gathered at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin to celebrate the work of IPRT. Reporter Evelyn O'Rourke spoke to some of the artists in advance. Read more

RTÉ Arts Tonight: Art Education in Prisons 14th February 2012

RTÉ's 'Arts Tonight' with Vincent Woods focuses on art education in prisons in Ireland. Read more

Guardian: Creative and sporting activities in prison can have an impact on reoffending 18th January 2012

Writing in the 'Guardian', Erwin James makes the case for arts and sports in prisons as a means to help, motivate and encourage offenders to believe that they can live a better way. Read more

Storybook Dads: maintaining family bonds 10th August 2011 YouTube

Storybook Dads is a project run in prisons which helps maintain the vital emotional bond between prisoners and their children by helping offenders to record bedtime stories on CDs and DVDs: "Keeping families together helps to reduce re-offending by up to six times." Read more

Irish Times: Prisoners take time out to sit Junior and Leaving Cert exams 9th June 2011

Nearly 280 prisoners will take this year's State examinations in hopes to better themselves and their futures. Read more

Update: Transformed Through Dance Event 21st April 2011

On 15 April 2011, Create, in partnership with Dance Ireland and Dublin Dance Festival, hosted 'Transformed Through Dance', an in conversation event with Nikki Crane, Advisor to Dance United, an organisation that pro-actively works with young people at risk of (re)offending. Read more

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