This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 18 August, 2018
Advertisement

Report calls for an end to solitary confinement in Irish prisons

A new report from the IPRT it says it can have a severe negative effect on prisoners’ mental health.

Image: Shutterstock/txking

THE IRISH PENAL Reform Trust has called for solitary confinement and restricted regimes to be banned in prison.

A new report from the IPRT calls for an end to these practices, which it says can have a severe negative effect on prisoners’ mental health.

Solitary confinement involves a prisoner being kept in their cell without proper human contact for more than 22 hours a day.

Restricted regimes are the same practice, but for in the region of 19 hours a day.

Commenting on the launch of the report today, executive director of the IPRT Deirdre Malone said that the group wanted to ensure a minimum out-of-cell time of eight hours per day.

“We recognise the challenge for any prison service in balancing prisoner safety on the one hand, while at the same time providing prisoners with a reasonable and humane regime,” said Malone.

She said that prisoners may be placed on ‘protection’ in lock up after having asked for it.

“Yet those regimes are significantly impoverished as prisoners face restricted access to education, physical activities and fresh air; limitations on family visits and phone contact; and difficulties in accessing health and addiction support.

Such restrictions can have a serious negative impact on effective reintegration upon release.

The report is based on a major evidence-based research project led by the IPRT, and contains 25 key recommendations.

These include:

  • The placement in solitary confinement of adults with mental health difficulties or mental or physical disabilities should be prohibited
  • Where a prisoner requests to be kept on protection for an extended period, this should be kept under constant review
  • The Irish Prison Service should research and develop a range of initiatives to address violence in prisons

“It is our view that Ireland should be leading by example on this issue and set a high bar regarding the protection of human rights, especially for people in some of the most vulnerable positions – those who are detained,” said Malone.

Read: Manchester attack ‘hero’ jailed for stealing from victims

Read: Four babies born to women in prison last year

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

Read next:

COMMENTS (49)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel

     

    Trending Tags