Irish Penal Reform Trust

Health in Prison

IPRT believes that responsibility for the provision of healthcare should be transferred from the IPS to the HSE. In addition to this, IPRT believes that those with mental illness should be diverted away from the criminal justice system and should be treated within a community setting, where possible. 

This section includes posts on health in prison, including mental health and drug policy. 

Expert Report: COVID-19 and prisons in England and Wales

3rd April 2020

This Expert Report was written by Professor Richard Coker and commissioned by the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prison Reform Trust. It sets out the most up-to-date evidence concerning the nature, spread and transmission of COVID-19 as it applies to prisons.

Irish prisons and COVID-19: Proposed Measures

30th March 2020

In this submission, IPRT sets out a number of proposed measures to be taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to minimise its impact on the whole prison community.

Prisons and COVID-19: resources

23rd March 2020

IPRT is curating useful resources and international guidance regarding COVID-19 and imprisonment here.

World Health Organisation publishes guidance on preventing Covid-19 outbreak in prisons

23rd March 2020

The WHO has published an interim guidance document on preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention. The document aims to assist countries in developing plans in response to the international Covid-19 outbreak.

ECtHR: Detention conditions and treatment of prisoners

5th July 2019

The European Court of Human Rights has published a factsheet on detention conditions and treatment of prisoners outlines findings of inhuman and/or degrading treatment of prisoners.

Penal Reform International launch Global Prison Trends 2018

21st May 2019

Global Prison Trends 2019 is the fifth edition in PRI’s annual flagship Global Prison Trends series which identifies topical developments and challenges in criminal justice, and prison policy and practice.

Scotland: Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People in Custody

21st May 2019

The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) has published a review identifying ways to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in custody.

UK: First cross-government suicide prevention plan

22nd January 2019

UK Government has published its first cross-government suicide prevention plan with the objective of reducing deaths from suicide through the use of new technology and data.

Joint Committee on Future of Mental Health Care: Final report

18th October 2018

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Future of Mental Health Care has published its final report, with a core recommendation of increasing the number of acute beds from 22 to 50 per 100,000 over 3 years.

Self-Harm in Irish Prisons 2017 Report

4th October 2018

The first report on episodes of self-harm recorded in Irish Prisons has been published.

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



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