Irish Penal Reform Trust

International News

'SPACE I' Annual Penal Statistics: Prison Populations 2019

7th April 2020

The Council of Europe (CoE) has published 'SPACE I' Annual Penal Statistics on Prison Populations 2019. The report contains a detailed breakdown of penological trends across Europe. See IPRT's summary of key findings from both European and Irish perspectives.

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.

Human Rights Law Centre (Australia): Stopping Solitary Confinement

31st March 2020

The Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) in Australia has published 'Stopping Solitary Confinement', a submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The HRLC writes specifically about the use of solitary confinement during COVID-19.

Terres des hommes: Accelerate release of children from detention

27th March 2020

Terre des hommes is calling on States to accelerate the release of children in detention in order to protect them from COVID-19.

US: Fair and Just Prosecution publishes a joint statement from elected prosecutors on Covid-19 on the rights and needs of those in custody

23rd March 2020

The statement calls on the criminal justice system to act quickly to stop the spread of COVID-19 within the prisons. While there have been some official responses to the potential dangers of COVID-19 within US prisons, this statement contains further recommendations on how to reduce the prison population and safeguard prisoners’ rights.

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.

UK: All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime & Violence Reduction publishes ‘Securing a Brighter Future: The role of youth services in tackling knife crime’

9th March 2020

Among other findings, the All-Party Parliamentary Group found that the decline in the number of youth centres is linked with growing levels of knife crime.

New report published on prisoners’ use of hospital care in England and Wales.

27th February 2020

A new report, entitled Locked out? Prisoners’ use of hospital care, has been published by the Nuffield Trust. This report examines the use of external hospital care by prisoners in England and Wales.

The brain does not fully develop until age 25 – Scottish Sentencing Council.

26th February 2020

Judicial sentencing should take account of persuasive evidence that the adolescent brain continues to mature into adulthood and does not reach full maturity until approximately 25-30 years of age.

Penal Reform International and Prison Reform Trust publish guide for prison staff to support women with mental illness in prison

26th February 2020

Women in Prison: Mental health and well-being was published in February 2020 by Penal Reform International and the Prison Reform Trust as a guide primarily for prison staff and others who work with women in prison or may be making decisions that affect them.

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



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