Irish Penal Reform Trust

Human Rights in Prison

IPRT promotes a penal system that is: humane as experienced by people who are detained, protects and promotes human rights and equality, and strives to achieve international best practice in formal regimes, daily practices and overall culture.

It is the sentence of deprivation of liberty in itself that is the core punitive sanction, the conditions and treatment while in prison should not be used as additional punishment.

Accordingly, we believe that while restrictions on the freedom of movement are necessarily introduced while in prison, prisoners should retain all other rights to the greatest possible degree while serving their sentences. In particular, IPRT believes that prisoners have the right to be treated with dignity and respect for their rights; they have the right to safety and security of the person, the right to be treated humanely and be free from torture, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment.

We work to ensure that regimes in prisons and children detention facilities are humane, and reflect human rights standards as a minimum in the short term, striving for international best practice in the medium to long term.

UN Committee against Torture publishes list of issues prior to reporting

25th May 2020

In advance of Ireland’s third periodic hearing under the UN Convention against Torture, the Committee against Torture has requested information on a list of issues from Ireland. This was informed by submissions by civil society, including IPRT.

UNODC, WHO, UNAIDS and OHCHR issue joint statement on COVID-19 in prisons and other closed settings

13th May 2020

UN agencies have issued a joint statement on COVID-19 in closed settings to draw attention to the increased vulnerability of those deprived of their liberty. The human rights-led statement focuses on strategies which are crucial to protecting those in places of detention from COVID-19.

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.

Guide to the Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration of Women Prisoners

23rd May 2019

Co-published by Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) and Penal Reform International (PRI), this guide comprises of research into rehabilitation and reintegration practices around the world specifically for women in prison.

Penal Reform International launch Global Prison Trends 2019

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.

The Irish Times: Hundreds forced to sleep on prison floors each month

5th December 2018

The Irish Times reports on numbers being forced to sleep on prison floors due to overcrowding.

Progress in the Penal System: A framework for penal reform (2018)

26th October 2018

The second a series of three annual reports providing a comprehensive report on human rights and best practice in Ireland’s penal system.

Second annual report on standards in Ireland’s penal system finds little progress in key areas – IPRT

26th October 2018

ADVISORY: IPRT has published the second annual 'PIPS' report, showing limited progress within the last 12 months in meeting human rights in Irish prisons.

Round Up: Progressing inside? Ireland’s prison system in 2018

26th October 2018

IPRT hosted 'Progressing inside? Ireland’s prison system in 2018' on 26 October 2018 in the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. Central to the seminar was the launch of the second annual 'Progress in the Penal System' report.

Census of Cell Occupancy and In-cell Sanitation July 2018

10th August 2018

The Irish Prison Service Statistics Office has recently published its quarterly statistical analysis cell occupancy and in-cell sanitation for July 2018.

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

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