Established in 1994, the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) is Ireland's leading non governmental organisation campaigning for rights in the penal system and the progressive reform of Irish penal policy.
IPRT publishes a wide range of policy positions and research documents; we campaign vigorously across a wide range of penal policy issues; and we have established IPRT as the leading independent voice in public debate on the Irish penal system.
Please note that IPRT does not represent or support individual prisoners, nor their families. Contact details for organisations which may be able to offer assistance are included here.
We have four priority areas of work:
- human rights within the prison system – building respect for and awareness of human rights standards in the penal system;
- imprisonment as a last resort – ensuring that the principle of imprisonment as a last resort is at the centre of Government policy;
- prison policy and social policy – making clear the links between prison and crime policy and wider social policy and the social and economic benefits of prevention and early intervention; and
- youth justice – highlighting human rights issues in relation to young people and the law and the promotion of preventative strategies to crime and social problems more generally.
We work towards progressive change through:
Advocacy based on research and evidence-led policies
- carrying out research studies on issues relating to the penal system
- publishing and disseminating a wide range of policy positions
Raising awareness of the work of IPRT and of penal reform issues
- campaigning vigorously across key issues
- disseminating the facts and dispelling the myths about prisons and prisoners
- stimulating and providing platforms for inclusive public debate
- organising conferences, lectures series and events
- providing a comprehensive information resource on penal reform issues in Ireland on our website
Working constructively with others
- constructive engagement with Government and elected officials
- building strong relationships with other agencies in the criminal justice system
- working with other NGO’s on common human rights issues
- where necessary, mounting or supporting legal challenges to initiate change in Irish prisons
- increasing our membership to demonstrate the wide support that exists for penal reform in Ireland