10th April 2018
IPRT welcomed the introduction by Deputy Jim O’Callaghan of the Private Member’s Bill, Parole Bill 2016, which aims to “[place] the concept of parole on a clearer statutory footing under the remit of an independent expert body.”
IPRT has long campaigned for a fully independent Parole Board to be established on a statutory basis. IPRT believes that the early prison release system in Ireland should be coherent, transparent and fair. To this end, the establishment of a statutory parole system, which is fully independent of political control, will help to achieve clarity in the law and support a proper balance between the protection of the public and the rights of sentenced persons to a fair and balanced system of release.
Furthermore, a more transparent and structured system of release for prisoners will incentivise meaningful engagement with services and regimes inside prison and support more successful reintegration of prisoners back into the community.
While acknowledging that the Bill represents a move towards reform, IPRT is concerned in relation to a number of the provisions of the Bill and its likely impact on those subject to the process.
Our submission, written in conjunction with Dr Diarmuid Griffin examines the key proposals in relation to parole that are matters of concern and require scrutiny. The submission is available to view here.
Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.