Human Rights in Prison

IPRT promotes a penal system that is: humane as experienced by people who are detained, protects and promotes human rights and equality, and strives to achieve international best practice in formal regimes, daily practices and overall culture.

It is the sentence of deprivation of liberty in itself that is the core punitive sanction, the 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.

We work to ensure that regimes in prisons and children detention facilities are humane, and reflect human rights standards as a minimum in the short term, striving for international best practice in the medium to long term.

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

LIVE broadcast: Ireland's First Periodic Review under UNCAT 26th May 2011

Ireland’s examination by the UN Committee against Torture took place on Mon 23 May Tues 24 May. Both sessions were broadcast live online. Read more

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


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

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