Irish Penal Reform Trust


The work of IPRT is led by a number of standards developed by international bodies, organisations and courts in relation to imprisonment and wider issues of the State’s penal policy. In particular, our work is based on the commitment to implement in Ireland a human rights-based approach to penal policy.

With this in mind, IPRT’s research, policy and awareness-raising campaigns are developed to support and monitor the implementation in the context of penal policy in Ireland of the United Nations and Council of Europe standards.

The IPRT is also committed to the promotion of best practice examples that have proved effective in other jurisdictions. To this end, we aim to provide a comprehensive library of good practices that can be accessed and used by practitioners, academics, prisoners, and anyone else interested in penal reform and penal policy. The Library is updated on a regular basis to take into account most recent developments in this area.

Juvenile Law Center Launch Report: Unlocking Youth Legal Strategies to End Solitary Confinement in Juvenile Facilities

2nd August 2017

The Juvenile Law Center in their latest report (2017) highlight the issues facing children and young adults in detention who are subjected to solitary confinement. In this report the authors address issues such as the impact solitary confinement can have on the cognitive, social and emotional development of those subjected to solitary confinement during their developmental years. They also highlight the correlation between cognitive development and behaviour labelled as challenging, as well as the impact deprivation of social inclusion can have on the ability to recover from solitary confinement post-release.

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales Publishes Annual Report 2016-2017

18th July 2017

The Inspector’s report analyses the positives and the negatives occurring in the previous year by highlighting issues that appear in the 86 individual inspection reports on prisons, police custody suites, immigration removal centres and other custodial establishments published by the Inspectorate throughout the year 2016-2017.

UK: The Howard League for Penal Reform and the Transition to Adulthood (T2A), 'Judging Maturity: exploring the role of maturity in the sentencing of young adults'

18th July 2017

A new Report by The Howard League for Penal Reform and the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance calls on sentencing council to work towards developing formal sentencing principles for young adults, similar to the principles that are already in place for sentencing children.

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Publishes Annual Report 2016-2017

13th July 2017

The Ombudsman’s report highlights the figures relating to fatal incidents occurring in the last year across the various places of detention and organisations that come under the remit of the Ombudsman’s office. The report outlines some of the necessary steps that need to be taken in relation to risk assessment, suggesting that the assessment (ACCT) should comprise of more than just the prisoner’s representation but also consist of professional evaluation. The consequence of not having a robust ACCT evaluation can result in inadequate service provision. Specific issues such as provisions for prisoners with mental health needs, drugs and the rise in the use of new psychoactive drugs, as well as the effects of segregation are outlined by the Ombudsman in relation to fatal incidents in places of detention.

Penal Reform International Annual Report 2016

5th July 2017

Penal Reform International (PRI) have launched their Annual Report for 2016. This Annual Report reflects the progress have made in the past year with reference to their Strategic Plan 2015-2020:

UK:'PPO's learning lessons bulletin: Older Prisoners'

26th June 2017

The Probation & Prisons Ombudsman of England and Wales, Nigel Newcomen, launched his latest ‘Learning Lessons Bulletin’, which offers insights and recommendations to the prison service with regards to dealing with older prisoners.

Scotland: Families Outside Report on National Framework for Prison Visitors’ Centres in Scotland

19th June 2017

Families Outside have recently published their report on the National Performance Framework for Prison Visitors’ Centres in Scotland. In 2015 the Scottish Government announced that it would be providing £1.8 million over a three-year period to assist the work of Prison Visitor Centres. Any Prison Visitor Centre seeking funding from the Scottish Government will now be required to demonstrate that they can meet the standards set out in this National Performance Framework.

Prison Reform Trust UK Launch 'Out for Good' Report

2nd June 2017

A new report published on 2nd June 2017 by the Prison Reform Trust details findings of a two-year programme at HMP Brixton set up to give practical training and employment opportunities for prisoners and to develop ways in which prisons can set up sustainable training and employment networks to aid in the resettlement of prisoners.

Penal Reform International launch their Global Prison Trends 2017 Report

25th May 2017

Penal Reform International have launched their Global Prison Trends 2017 report in which they have analysed certain trends that have commonality across global penal institutions. They have found some progressive advancements and positive trends but they have also found some trends that are a cause of concern most notably the increase in female prisoners. They report a 50 percent increase in female prisoners since 2010 referencing data from 2015 which shows that the female prison population is increasing at a faster rate than the male prison population.

Council of Europe Produce 'Compendium of Conventions, Recommendations and Resolutions relating to Prisons and Community Sanctions and Measures'

1st May 2017

The Council of Europe have produced a 'Compendium of Conventions, Recommendations and Resolutions relating to prisons, community sanctions and measures' which contains rules, regulations and guidelines supporting European best practice on prison administration and community sanctions.

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



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  • Tel: 01 874 1400
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