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.

US report: The State of Sentencing 2010

25th February 2011

A new report published by The Sentencing Project in the US highlights how many states have enacted new sentencing measures so to manage prison populations.

Economic Climate's Positive Effect on U.S. Prison Policy

5th November 2010

From the 1980s America has seen an explosion in prison numbers, becoming the world leader in regards the rate of incarceration. Every year since 1985 has seen a rise in the levels of people behind bars. A natural corollary of this has been massive growth in the cost of corrections to the state, up 674% in that time period. However, recent information provided by The Vera Institute of Justice in their report The Continuing Fiscal Crisis in Corrections: Setting a New Course has shown that these incredible and unprecedented increases may finally be coming to a halt. The catalyst for such being the onset of the worst economic downturn in America since the great depression.

U.S: State Prison Population Declines for First Time in 38 Years

20th April 2010

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the number of state prisoners in the United States has declined, according to survey data compiled by the Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Center on the States, in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators

UK: Perceptions of Anti-Social Behaviour

9th March 2010

Home Office research highlights the subjective nature of perceptions of anti-social behaviour.

Council of Europe: European Prison Reform

19th February 2010

A website resource of the The Council of Europe, committed to improving the treatment of those imprisoned or otherwise deprived of their liberty.

Northern Ireland: inspection of treatment of vulnerable prisoners

31st December 2009

A report on the inspection of the treatment of vulnerable prisoners in Northern Ireland, to assess the progress of the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) in implementing the Northern Ireland Prisoner Ombudsman’s recommendations since January 2009.

"Do Better Do Less" - report from the Commission on English Prisons Today

2nd July 2009

A landmark report into the prison system has been published today. The report of the Commission on English Prisons Today takes a radical look at the purposes and limits of a penal system and how it should sit alongside other social policies.

International Standards

11th May 2009

IPRT’s activities support and monitor the implementation in the context of penal policy in Ireland of the United Nations and Council of Europe standards.

"Scotland's Choice" - report of the Scottish Prisons Commission

1st July 2008

The report of the Scottish Prisons Commission examines the use of imprisonment in Scottish society and makes recommendations for a radical overhaul of current policies.

Prison Privatization in the United Kingdom

15th May 2003

This article provides a brief overview of how the UK has progressed from implementing one experimental prison management contract to having Europe’s most privatized criminal justice system.

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



Contact us

  • Tel: 01 874 1400
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