Irish Penal Reform Trust

Inspector of Prisons: Guidance on Best Practice relating to the Investigation of Deaths in Custody

6th April 2011

This new publication from the Inspector of Prisons, highlights recommendations that need to be considered when a prisoner dies. 

The Inspector states that under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, all citizens have a fundamental right to life. The state has a positive obligation to protect the lives of all persons, and this is particularly important for those who are deprived of their liberty and are in the care of the state (Paragraph 3.1)

The Inspector found that there is no consistent procedure for the investigation of prisoners' deaths across the Irish Prison Service. (Paragraph 1.2)

Among his recommendations, the Inspector emphasizes that a full and thorough investigation must take place in the event of the death of a prisoner and that the prisoner's family should have full access to the investigation procedures. This investigation should be as thorough as possible so to determine who is responsible for the death.

Read more:

The Inspector's report can be accessed here.

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

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