Irish Penal Reform Trust

Accountability

IPRT campaigns for the positive transformation of systems of accountability and governance of the penal system in the area of inspection, complaints and monitoring.

We believe that structures and practices which support better accountability in the penal system should be introduced. These structures and mechanisms include: a properly resourced independent prisoner complaints system such as the Ombudsman; the introduction of domestic legislation to achieve the ratification of OPCAT; the strengthening of the Office of Inspector of Prisons and reform of the Prison Visiting Committees; and the establishment of a fully independent Prisons Authority on a statutory basis.

IPRT continues to articulate and promote a deeper appreciation of the concept and benefits of accountability in the penal system among relevant stakeholders.

OpEd: Ireland has not ratified a protocol to prevent torture in places of detention

8th August 2018

An OpEd by IPRT Executive Director Deirdre Malone in The Irish Times discusses Ireland’s failure to ratify OPCAT.

Irish Examiner: 'Inmate deaths lead to call for culture change'

7th August 2018

The Irish Examiner has reported on concerns highlighted by two previous prison inspectors around the accuracy of records being kept by prison officers.

Press Release: IPRT welcomes the appointment of new Inspector of Prisons

4th April 2018

Patricia Gilheaney has been announced as the new Inspector of Prisons, effective from 7 May 2018.

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.

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Publishes Annual Report 2016-2017

13th July 2017

The Ombudsman’s report highlights the figures relating to fatal incidents occurring in the last year across the various places of detention and organisations that come under the remit of the Ombudsman’s office. The report outlines some of the necessary steps that need to be taken in relation to risk assessment, suggesting that the assessment (ACCT) should comprise of more than just the prisoner’s representation but also consist of professional evaluation. The consequence of not having a robust ACCT evaluation can result in inadequate service provision. Specific issues such as provisions for prisoners with mental health needs, drugs and the rise in the use of new psychoactive drugs, as well as the effects of segregation are outlined by the Ombudsman in relation to fatal incidents in places of detention.

Office of the Inspector of Prisons: ‘Deaths in Custody’ reports 2016

27th June 2017

A number of reports on investigations into deaths occurring in prison custody in 2016 have recently been published by the Office of the Inspector of Prisons.

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.

UK: White Paper on Prison Safety and Reform

3rd November 2016

The White Paper on Prison Safety and Reform was presented to Parliament by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (LCSSJ) Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Truss on 3rd November 2016.

UK: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland Annual Report 2015-2016

26th October 2016

David Strang, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland (HMCIPS), published his third Annual Report, for the years 2015-2016, on 26th October 2016.

Inspector of Prisons' review of prisoner complaints system

9th June 2016

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, has published the Inspector of Prisons' report on a 'Review, Evaluation and Analysis of the Operation of the present Irish Prison Service Prisoner Complaints Procedure'.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.

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  • Tel: 01 874 1400
  • info@iprt.ie
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