7th September 2023
IPRT welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the Joint Committee on Justice on the General Scheme of the Irish Prison Service (IPS) Bill 2023 ('the General Scheme').
IPRT welcomes the publication of the draft General Scheme. IPRT has long called for the placement of the Irish Prison Service (IPS) as an independent prisons authority on a statutory basis - a recommendation first made in 1997 by an expert group, chaired by Dan McAuley (‘the McAuley Report’), when the Irish Prison Service was established on an administrative basis as an agency of the Department of Justice. Placing it on a statutory footing is essential to ensuring that the highest of standards are maintained in governance and accountability in the IPS.
While the publication of the General Scheme is welcome, though long overdue, it must be recognised that what must follow is a firm commitment to adequate investment in the proposed governance and audit structures of the IPS. Governance does not begin and end with the establishment of an independent board: governance infrastructure comprises capacity to monitor, review, report and evaluate.
Our submission makes some general comments about the General Scheme and some specfic comments relating to the following:
Read our full submission to the Joint Committee on Justice on the General Scheme of the Irish Prison Service Bill 2023 here.
*Please note that the submission was updated on 3 October 2023 to correct an error in a section heading.