Irish Penal Reform Trust

Round-up: 'The Ombudsman Behind Bars'

13th May 2016

On Thursday, the 12th May 2016, the Office of the Ombudsman held a conference entitled ‘The Ombudsman behind Bars’ which focused on the prospect of extending the Ombudsman’s remit to investigate prisoners’ complaints. Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly proposed this recommendation which Ombudsman Peter Tyndall welcomed.

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall said: "I welcome Judge Reilly's recommendation that my Office should examine complaints from prisoners. It is important that all users of public services, including prisoners, should have objective, independent consideration of their complaints. Ombudsmen elsewhere already deal with complaints from prisoners and my Office is well placed to take on this role in Ireland."

In response to the Inspector of Prisons recommendation, our Deirdre Malone spoke on Newstalk welcoming the call but also highlighting the need for the mechanism to be resourced properly. Listen back here

IPRT also spoke with Irish Legal News highlighting that “it is crucial that prisoners have access to an external complaints mechanism without fear of potential repercussions within prison”. Read our statement in full here

IPRT stressed the importance of an absolute independent Ombudsman in an article in the Irish Times


Further reporting on ‘The Ombudsman behind Bars’ conference and recommendations can be read here:


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



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