Irish Penal Reform Trust

Migrants & Ethnic Minorities

The disproportionate representation of migrants and ethnic minorities in criminal justice systems across the globe is well documented. In Ireland, there has been some research on the rights and experience of migrants and ethnic minorities at policing and sentencing stages, and the over-representation of minority ethnic groups in the prison system has been highlighted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. However, broader issues of racial and ethnic equality in the penal system remain under-explored in an Irish context, particularly in terms of accessing rights and accessing justice.

In 2020, IPRT was awarded funding from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) to pursue a research and awareness-raising campaign focused on the rights and experiences of migrants and ethnic minorities in the penal system in Ireland. 

Same Crime: Different Punishment? Investigating Sentencing Disparities Between Irish and Non-Irish Nationals in the Irish Criminal Justice System

28th September 2018

This article by Dr Avril Brandon and Dr Michael O'Connell investigates whether disparities exist between sentencing outcomes for Irish and non-Irish nationals and is the first to examine sentencing disparities by offender nationality in an Irish context.

Travellers in the Irish Prison System: A qualitative study

19th May 2014

Travellers in the Irish Prison System: A qualitative study is a 76-page qualitative research report, which includes interviews with 10 former prisoners

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

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