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. 

NACDA release study on drug use and access to drug treatment/support services within Irish prisons.

10th April 2014

Today the NACSA released a study on the prevalence of drug use within Irish prisons. The study aimed to determine the need for drug treatment and harm reduction services in Irish prisons by estimating the prevalence of drug use, including intravenous drug use and blood-borne viruses, amongst the prisoner population.

Mental Health Foundation: 'Losing Track of Time' - report on the challenge of dementia in the ageing male prisoner population

18th October 2013

This Mental Health Foundation report explores the difficult challenge of dementia among older male prisoners.

'The Prison Trap': Irish Times series on prison and mental health

17th September 2013

'The Irish Times' investigates how people with mental illness come into contact with the criminal justice system, tracing the cycle of criminalisation and undiagnosed mental health problems.

New Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement released

28th May 2013

A new sourcebook on Solitary Confinement aims to encourage policy makers and prison managers to limit the use of solitary confinement to a measure of last resort

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales report examines end of life care for prisoners

3rd April 2013

Published on 7th March 2013 the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman report reviews the response of the Prison Service in England and Wales to a growing population of elderly prisoners.

UK: Report launched evaluating mental health projects in the criminal justice system

27th February 2013

Revolving Doors Agency has published a report evaluating service user views of five mental health projects in the criminal justice system.

Prison is no substitute for hospital

31st July 2012

In the second part of his report from Mountjoy Prison, Gary Culliton of The Medical Times examines how mental health is managed in the prison.

US: Criminal justice system missing opportunity to address mental health needs

31st July 2012

A new Vera Institute(USA)report, Closing the Gap, calls for early identification of mental health needs and better interagency communication between criminal justice and health services.

Prisons are used as A & E trolleys for mentally ill, according to Clinical Director of Central Mental Hospital

19th July 2012

In the first of a two-part report by The Medical Times, Gary Culliton reveals the challenges facing severely mentally ill prisoners in Mountjoy.

Increased spending on pharmaceuticals in prisons highlights vulnerability & lack of services

16th July 2012

Spending on pharmaceuticals increased by 20% from 2004 and 2010, due to significant increases in the numbers of people being sent to prison, compounded by the high prevalence of mental illness in prisoners and a lack of adequate psychiatric and drug treatment in prisons.

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



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