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.

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.

IPRT gives cautious welcome to proposed Prisoner Complaints system

8th August 2012

IPRT today has given a cautious welcome to proposals for a new Prisoner Complaints system.

Your Rights as a Prisoner | BOOKLET

30th March 2012

This booklet aims to help prisoners understand the rights they have while in prison. It is written in everyday language and is informative and easy to use.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Prisoner Ombudsman would address gaps in accountability structures in Ireland's prison system

30th March 2012

Prisoners do not lose their basic human rights when they are committed to prison, and the State has an obligation to ensure that these rights are protected through the provision of effective and fully independent complaints and investigations mechanisms, such as a Prisoner Ombudsman.

Scotland: Guide for People with Learning Disabilities and the Criminal Justice System

11th August 2011

The Scottish Government has recently published a Guide aimed at improving the relationship between people with learning disabilities and the criminal justice system.

UN Committee against Torture: Concluding Observations (2011)

7th June 2011

The United Nations Committee against Torture has published its Concluding Observations following Ireland's first periodic review under UNCAT.

LIVE broadcast: Ireland's First Periodic Review under UNCAT

26th May 2011

Ireland’s examination by the UN Committee against Torture took place on Mon 23 May Tues 24 May. Both sessions were broadcast live online.

IPRT and ICCL: Joint shadow report under the UN Convention Against Torture

20th May 2011

IPRT in conjunction with ICCL have published their submission to the UN Committee against Torture.

IPRT Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

21st March 2011

The IPRT submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review highlights issues relating to the Irish State’s promotion and protection of human rights in prisons

IHRC publishes its Report to UN Universal Periodic Review

14th March 2011

The Irish Human Rights Commission has published its submission to the 'Twelfth Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Ireland'. Human rights issues affecting prisons and prisoners receive particular mention.

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



Contact us

  • Tel: 01 874 1400
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