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.
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.
4th April 2018
Patricia Gilheaney has been announced as the new Inspector of Prisons, effective from 7 May 2018.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
23rd May 2016
Ahead of ‘The Ombudsman Behind Bars’ conference held by the Office of the Ombudsman on the 12th May last, IPRT looked at the role of Prison Ombudsmen around the world.