Irish Penal Reform Trust

Round up: Launch of Piecing It Together: Supporting Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison

15th July 2021

The Irish Penal Reform Trust was delighted to virtually launch Piecing it Together: Supporting Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison in Ireland on Thursday 15 July 2021.

In Piecing it Together, IPRT re-examines key issues for children and families with a family member in prison, set against the current policy and legislative landscape, to see how much progress has been made to support the rights of children and families since IPRT’s ground-breaking report on the issue in 2012. The report finds that many of the recommendations made in 2012 have not been implemented.

The report is available here. See pages 5 – 8 for an overview of our recommendations.

Ombudsman for Children, Dr. Niall Muldoon, officially launched the report. While the launch took place virtually due to public health restrictions, we were pleased to invite contributions from esteemed speakers and respondents. A recording of the launch is available at the bottom of this page. 


  • Michelle Martyn (former IPRT Policy and Research Manager and author of the report)
  • Professor Ann Adalist-Estrin (Director of the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated at Rutgers University, Camden New Jersey)
  • Dr. Lorna Brookes (Founder of Time-Matters UK and Senior Lecturer Liverpool John Moores University)


  • Saoirse Brady (Head of Legal, Policy and Public Affairs, Children's Rights Alliance)
  • Aisling O'Neill (Area Manager Midwest, Tusla)
  • Fergal Black (Director of Care and Rehabilitation, Irish Prison Service)
  • Dr Fiona Donson (Co-Chair of Action for Children and Families of Prisoners)

The event was Chaired by Fíona Ní Chinnéide (Executive Director, IPRT) and featured input, via letter, from a young person with experience of family member imprisonment. 

The website for Action for Children and Families of Prisoners, which IPRT Co-Chairs, was also launched at the event. Visit to stay up to date with the work of the network.

Media coverage:

This project is kindly supported by the Katharine Howard Foundation and St Stephen’s Green Trust

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



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