Irish Penal Reform Trust

Progress in the Penal System: A framework for penal reform (2017)

24th October 2017

The Irish Penal Reform Trust launched a major new report 'Progress in the Penal System: A framework for penal reform' (PIPS) on Tuesday 24th October 2017. (For more on the second annual report, please visit the section on PIPS 2018)

This report is the first in a series of three annual reports providing a comprehensive report on human rights and best practice in Ireland’s penal system. IPRT has developed 35 standards against which the prevailing situation in Ireland’s penal system will be independently tracked, monitored and assessed on an annual basis. A summary of the report is available here.

The report covers wide-ranging areas of penal policy including prison conditions, regimes, and access to education and services. It identifies the current gaps in service provision and will allow for independent monitoring and progress tracking over the next three years. IPRT sought input from experts (both national and international) on the different issues and areas covered in the report.

The PIPS project is intended as a means to inform a wide array of stakeholders, including: criminal justice stakeholders, politicians, media, the general public and international audiences interested in learning about the current state of the Irish penal system in comparison with other jurisdictions. IPRT hopes that the project will encourage constructive dialogue between a range of relevant stakeholders.

The 35 standards to be measured by the report fall into the following categories:

  • An effective and humane penal system;
  • Prison conditions;
  • Regimes;
  • Complaints, accountability and inspections mechanisms;
  • Safety and protection in Irish prisons;
  • Reintegration.

Michelle Martyn, IPRT Senior Research and Policy Project Manager, was centrally involved in the research and delivery of this publication, with the support of a Research Advisory Group.

Media coverage:

This 3-year annual flagship project is kindly supported by The Community Foundation for Ireland.

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



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