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 and ICCL: Joint shadow report under the UN Convention Against Torture 20th May 2011 PDF documents

IPRT in conjunction with ICCL have published their submission to the UN Committee against Torture. Read more

IPRT Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 21st March 2011 Word documents

The IPRT submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review highlights issues relating to the Irish State’s promotion and protection of human rights in prisons Read more

IHRC publishes its Report to UN Universal Periodic Review 14th March 2011

The Irish Human Rights Commission has published its submission to the 'Twelfth Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Ireland'. Human rights issues affecting prisons and prisoners receive particular mention. Read more

Committee for the Prevention of Torture: 2011 Report 10th February 2011

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture has published its latest report on conditions in Irish prisons. Read more

EUROPEAN TORTURE COMMITTEE PRESENTS DAMNING INDICTMENT OF IRISH PRISON SYSTEM 10th February 2011

The fifth report on Ireland from the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Degrading Treatment (CPT), published today (Thursday, 10th Feb 2011), is the most critical yet, and a damning indictment of a prison system that is failing to meet the most basic human rights standards… Read more

Ombudsman calls for extension of remit to include prisons 4th February 2011

The Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly has begun lobbying the prospective leaders of the next government for an expanded role for her office. Proposals include the extension of the Ombudsman's remit to include prisons. IPRT fully supports this call. Read more

International Human Rights Day 2010 10th December 2010

It is International Human Rights Day 2010, and 30% of prisoners in Ireland are still 'slopping out' - the chronically overcrowded prisons at Cork and Mountjoy included - despite assurances since 1992 that this grim, degrading practice would be eliminated. Read more

Irish Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2009 24th August 2010

The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) today launched their annual report. IPRT welcomed the calls from the Dr Maurice Manning, president of the IHRC, for the Government to commit to improving the situation in Irish Prisons. Read more

Ireland: First National Report under the UN CAT 11th November 2009

The Government has just submitted its long-awaited First National Report under the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UN CAT). Read more

Irish Times: European prison crowding ruling could lead to similar case here 9th November 2009

The European Court of Human Rights rules that prison overcrowding in itself can violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to freedom from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.) Read more