Note: there have been changes to (i) the internal complaints mechanism in the Irish prison system, and (ii) to investigations of deaths in custody, since this Position paper was published end 2009. Nevertheless, many issues raised within the paper - not least the lack of access by prisoners to a fully independent complaints mechanism - remain.
Monitoring and inspection of places of detention, as well as the establishment of an independent external mechanism for the review of prisoners’ complaints, are central to the protection of human rights of prisoners and form part of Ireland’s obligations under international law.
This Position Paper outlines the international standards pertaining to external scrutiny mechanisms, and assesses the current system of oversight in Ireland against those standards. It further makes recommendations for the improvement of current mechanisms, including a call for the establishment of an Office of Prisoner Ombudsman to deal with individual complaints.
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