IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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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.

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

Did you know that Ireland hasn't met its commitment to ratify OPCAT? 26th June 2014

Today, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, IPRT is highlighting that the Government still hasn't met its commitment to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). Read more

Eng & Wales: Howard League Commission on sex in prison 25th February 2014

The Howard League for Penal Reform has established an independent Commission on Sex in Prison to undertake the first ever review of both consensual and coercive sex inside prison. Read more

New Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement released 28th May 2013

A new sourcebook on Solitary Confinement aims to encourage policy makers and prison managers to limit the use of solitary confinement to a measure of last resort Read more

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales report examines end of life care for prisoners 3rd April 2013

Published on 7th March 2013 the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman report reviews the response of the Prison Service in England and Wales to a growing population of elderly prisoners. Read more

IPRT gives cautious welcome to proposed Prisoner Complaints system 8th August 2012

IPRT today has given a cautious welcome to proposals for a new Prisoner Complaints system. Read more

Your Rights as a Prisoner | BOOKLET 30th March 2012

This booklet aims to help prisoners understand the rights they have while in prison. It is written in everyday language and is informative and easy to use. Read more

MEDIA ADVISORY: Prisoner Ombudsman would address gaps in accountability structures in Ireland's prison system 30th March 2012

Prisoners do not lose their basic human rights when they are committed to prison, and the State has an obligation to ensure that these rights are protected through the provision of effective and fully independent complaints and investigations mechanisms, such as a Prisoner Ombudsman. Read more

Scotland: Guide for People with Learning Disabilities and the Criminal Justice System 11th August 2011

The Scottish Government has recently published a Guide aimed at improving the relationship between people with learning disabilities and the criminal justice system. Read more

UN Committee against Torture: Concluding Observations (2011) 7th June 2011 Word documents

The United Nations Committee against Torture has published its Concluding Observations following Ireland's first periodic review under UNCAT. Read more

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