Irish Penal Reform Trust

Parole Reform

The main purpose of parole is to increase community safety. Parole does this by providing structured, supported and supervised transition of prisoners serving long sentences (primarily life-sentenced prisoners) from prison back into the community.

IPRT believes that the early prison release system in Ireland should be coherent, transparent and fair. We long campaigned for the establishment of a statutory parole system, which is fully independent of political control. We have long believed that this would 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.

In July 2021, Parole Act 2019 was commenced, placing the parole process on a statutory footing. IPRT will continue to closely follow the implementation of and developments with the new parole process, with particular focus on any new procedures and the rehabilitation of people in prison.

Round-up: Commencement of the Parole Act

17th August 2021

IPRT comment featured prominently in the media coverage and debate around the changes to parole following the commencement of the Parole Act and the establishment of a new statutory Parole Board.

New parole system must strengthen timely engagement with rehabilitative services – IPRT

11th August 2021

IPRT has welcomed the announcement of the establishment of the new statutory Parole Board and the commencement of the Parole Act 2019 by the Minister for Justice, but concerns remain around engagement with rehabilitative services.

Justice Plan 2021 and Department of Justice Strategy Statement 2021-2023

22nd February 2021

Justice Plan 2021 is the first of a series of annual plans which the Minister will introduce to drive reforms across the Justice Sector. Each year, the Plan will be updated with new actions and timelines for delivery. IPRT welcomes this transparency.

Parole Board Annual Report 2019

30th November 2020

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has published the Parole Board Annual Report 2019. As well as standard reporting on the work of the Parole Board in 2019, the report details challenges for the new Parole Board when the Parole Act 2019 comes into operation.

Parole legislation is passed through both Houses of the Oireachtas

11th July 2019

The Parole Bill 2016, when signed and enacted, will place the Parole Board on an independent statutory footing, with the power to make final decisions on the release of eligible prisoners.

Parole Reform and the Parole Bill 2016

17th June 2019

IPRT makes recommendations on how the Parole Bill 2016 could be strengthened to achieve its goals of clarity, transparency and fairness.

Round Up: Parole in the media

11th June 2019

Read about IPRT’s recent media engagements on the reform of the parole process.

Parole legislation must be progressed with urgency to ensure clear, transparent and fair system for everyone

5th June 2019

ADVISORY: IPRT welcomes the restated commitment of the Minister for Justice and Equality to progress legislation needed to reform the current parole system.

Parole and Temporary Release in Ireland: An overview

4th June 2019

Want to know more about how parole works? We have compiled a brief overview of the purpose of parole and temporary release, as well as some recent figures on the use of parole in Ireland.

UK: Increased temporary release of prisoners leads to reduced reoffending

31st May 2019

Results from a study published by the Ministry of Justice suggest that increased use of release on temporary license before release from prison is associated with reduced offending on release.

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



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