27th April 2010
Update: Breda O'Brien in The Irish Times echoes calls for a review of women imprisonment along the lines of the Corston Report as a starting point to better prison conditions for all.
A number of voices have joined IPRT's calls for an urgent and compehensive review of policy in relation to the imprisonment of women in Ireland.
"The Government has been pressed to carry out an urgent review of the country's only women's prison after its governor resigned, citing overcrowding," reports yesterday's Evening Herald.
Similar reports ran across the Irish Independent, Belfast Telegraph, and many regional newspapers.
“I believe we need an urgent review of women’s imprisonment in Ireland,” said Senator Ivana Bacik, quoted in the Evening Echo.
And in a letter to The Irish Times today, reference is made to The Corston Report, an extensive study of women’s prisons in the UK.
In December 2009, the Women in Prison Reform Alliance, of which IPRT is a member, made a detailed submission to the Minister for Justice calling for a comprehensive review of policy and practice in relation to women who come into the criminal justice system. This would be along the lines of The Corston Report. IPRT believes that such a review will identify effective and cheap non-custodial options for many categories of women offender, ultimately leading to a reduction in the need for secure imprisonment.
To date we have not received a response from the Minister to this proposal.