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.

IPRT calls on key bodies to work together to conduct thorough investigation of alleged covert surveillance in prisons and prisoner transport

22nd November 2018

ADVISORY: IPRT responds to allegations of the use of covert surveillance in prisons and prisoner transport, calling on key bodies to work together to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations.

Border Criminologies: HMIP Detention Monitoring Methodology

12th November 2018

Border Criminologies (University of Oxford) has published a briefing paper outlining the methodology used by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, coordinating body of the UK NPM.

Statement of Principles on Legislation to Ratify the OPCAT

12th November 2018

This document outlines the minimum legislative requirements for any legislation intended to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

The Detail: Call for independent inquiry after 206 prisoner deaths in 12 years

27th September 2018

IPRT calls for the Irish Prison Service to publish regular reports into deaths and incidents of near-deaths, self-harm, violence and assaults in prisons.

Letter: Minister Zappone should publish Oberstown report

11th August 2018

IPRT Executive Director Deirdre Malone penned a letter to the Editor of The Irish Times, calling on the Minister to publish the Operational Review of Oberstown.

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.

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

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  • Tel: 01 874 1400
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