12th August 2017
Friday, 11th August 2017
The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has welcomed the findings regarding Ireland’s treatment of people in prisons, published by the UN Committee against Torture today (11.08.17). The Committee’s ‘Concluding Observations’ were developed following its examination of the Irish Government’s performance last month.
While the Committee has recognised significant progress achieved by the Government since Ireland’s last examination in 2011, a number of important concerns and recommendations have been detailed in the Committee’s report. They include:
Commenting on the observations, Acting Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT), Fíona Ní Chinnéide said:
“IPRT welcomes the strong recommendations made by the UN Committee on detention issues, particularly in the areas of solitary confinement and prison health. We also welcome the deserved recognition of real progress achieved since 2011 in addressing some of the most serious human rights issues, including overcrowding, slopping out and imprisonment of children. The progress achieved since 2011 marks the importance of international monitoring and oversight.
“The Committee’s recommendations highlight an opportunity for the Government to commit to timelines for action on OPCAT ahead of the 10th anniversary of Ireland’s signing of the Protocol on 2nd October 2017. The Committee has also highlighted the urgent need for a fundamental review of prison health services, and the use of solitary confinement as a measure of last resort only, and for solitary confinement never to be applied to juveniles, effectively calling for the abolition of this practice as a disciplinary measure for that cohort.
“We welcome the State’s engagement with the Committee in Geneva and the Committee’s insightful recommendations, and we look forward to strong commitments by the Irish Government to progress policies and legislation to ensure these recommendations are met.”
Other issues addressed by the Committee in its observations include:
Contact: Sebastian Enke, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-3239496.
Note to Editors:
The UN Committee’s Concluding Observations are available for download here: http://bit.ly/2vLQuIN
About the IPRT
Established in 1994, the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) is Ireland's leading non-governmental organisation campaigning for rights in the penal system and the progressive reform of Irish penal policy. Its vision is one of respect for rights in the penal system, with prison as a last resort. IPRT is committed to respecting the rights of everyone in the penal system and to reducing imprisonment. It is working towards progressive reform of the penal system based on evidence-led policies and on a commitment to combating social injustice.
IPRT publishes a wide range of policy positions and research documents; it campaigns vigorously across a wide range of penal policy issues; and has established itself as the leading independent voice in public debate on the Irish penal system.