IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

Join Donate

Get News Updates:

Human Rights in Prison

IPRT believes in the principle of ‘imprisonment as punishment’: that it is the sentence of deprivation of liberty in itself that is the core punitive sanction. IPRT’s position is that conditions and treatment while in prison should not be used as additional punishment.

Accordingly, we believe that while restrictions on the freedom of movement are necessarily introduced while in prison, prisoners should retain all other rights to the greatest possible degree while serving their sentences.

In particular, IPRT believes that prisoners have the right to be treated with dignity and respect for their rights; they have the right to safety and security of the person, the right to be treated humanely and be free from torture, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment.

In our work, the IPRT is committed to ensuring that the rights of prisoners are respected and that the Irish penal policy is based on the implementation of international human rights standards.

The Irish Examiner: UN body told of failings in the oversight of Irish prisons 21st July 2017

An article by Cormac O’Keeffe in The Irish Examiner on how the United Nations Committee against Torture (UNCAT) has been told of failings in oversight, in the investigation of complaints, of ill treatment and of concerns about prison healthcare in Irish prisons. Read more

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) Publish Report Ahead of 2nd Periodic UNCAT Review 18th July 2017

IPRT welcomes the publication of IHREC’s report in advance of the 2nd periodic review of UNCAT Ireland and the Convention against Torture. The IHREC report highlights the need for the State to ratify OPCAT which would provide a clear ‘roadmap’ and timeline for the implementation of OPCAT. Ireland signed the… Read more

Minister introduces Amendment to Prison Rules: “Meaningful Human Contact” 7th July 2017

On 29th June 2017, Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan TD, introduced an amendment to Rule 27 (1) of the Prison Rules 2007 to 2017. Read more

IPRT Project: Progress in the Penal System (PIPS) 18th May 2017

IPRT has secured funding for a 3-year annual flagship project, with the overall objective of providing a comprehensive report on human rights issues in Irish prisons. Read more

Slopping out ended in Cork Prison 18th July 2016

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald TD performed the official opening of the new Cork Prison today. Read more

Inspector of Prisons Report on Prisoner Complaints Procedures June 2016 30th June 2016

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality published the Inspector of Prisons Report on 8 June, 2016 titled Evaluation and Analysis of the Operation of the present Irish Prison Service Prisoner Complaints Procedure. Read more

Census of Prison Population, Cell Occupancy and In-Cell Sanitation January 2015 10th February 2015

The Irish Prison Service Statistics Office recently published its quarterly statistical analysis of prison population, cell occupancy and in-cell sanitation facts and figures. Read more

Census of Prison Population, Cell Occupancy and In Cell Sanitation July 2014 1st September 2014

The Irish Prison Service's July Report deals with facts and figures relating to prison population, cell occupancy and cell sanitation in the Irish penal estate. Read more

Census of Restricted Regime Prisoners July 2014 1st September 2014

The Irish Prison Services Statistics Unit recently published its quarterly Census of Restricted Prisoners in the Irish Penal system. The Census indicates a slight reduction in the number of prisoners on restricted regimes. Read more

IPRT needs to go to the UN: can you help get us there? 3rd July 2014

Can you help IPRT get to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva? IPRT has successfully used international human rights monitoring mechanisms to bring about real reform in the Irish penal system – read more about our achievements here. But our work is not done yet. Read more