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Friday 31 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C

# Irish Penal Reform Trust

This year
# Irish Prisons
Irish Penal Reform Trust express 'grave concern' as bed capacity reaches 100% across prison estate
Limerick’s female prison has reached highs of 164% capacity.
Last year
Children with parents in prison are silently serving sentences of their own this Christmas
At Christmas time, children have extremely limited access to their parents in prison, writes Saoirse Brady of the Irish Penal Reform Trust.
All time
# Covid-19
Prison service facing 'unprecedented challenge' as it manages three Covid-19 outbreaks
There are at least 63 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among inmates.
# Drugs
A conviction for €4 worth of cannabis 'just defies logic', say campaigners
Possession of any amount of cannabis is illegal under Irish law.
# Report
Covid-19 exposes 'unsafe' failures in prison service – report
Measures were introduced in Irish prisons last year to prevent the spread of the virus.
# Prisoners
51 inmates in Irish prisons still 'slopping out' despite government pledge to end practice by this year
The total figure is a decrease from 465 people in January 2014.
# Irish Prison Service
Prison visits to resume across two phases
The Irish Prison Service suspended visits in March because of the pandemic.
# Coronavirus
'They don’t even have the capacity to keep everyone in single cells': Concerns over potential Covid-19 spread in prisons
The Irish Penal Reform Trust has said that overcrowded prisons make it harder to control the spread of the viruses.
# Lockdown
More than two-thirds of Irish prisoners on 'restricted' regime kept in cells for 21 hours a day, report finds
A new report by the Irish Penal Reform Trust has raised concerns over Ireland’s increasing prison population.
# Banged Up
Calls for 'nuance' after judge suggests reform of the law around jailing elderly people
A High Court judge called for the Irish Penal Reform Trust to take a look at the matter.
# Solitary Confinement
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.
# Mountjoy Prison
Up to 25% of Mountjoy Prison inmates being put in solitary confinement for their own protection
120 inmates were put under a protection regime in October 2016.
# visitation
Prisoners want to be able to use Skype to contact their families
Overcrowding, nutrition, healthcare and access to mental health services remain as issues for prisons in Ireland.
# Crime and Punishment
'It doesn't make sense to isolate people further': Is prison the best solution to crime in Ireland?
The Law Society’s Human Rights Conference will hear suggestions today for improvements to the criminal justice system.
# hiring ex prisoners
'People we recruit from prison are on average more loyal, more honest and stay with us for longer'
The UK’s leading employer of people with convictions says there can be huge benefits in hiring ex-prisoners.
# Solitary Confinement
'Prisoners have a very basic human need for contact'
A change in prison rules looks at the “meaningful human contact” prisoners get when out of their cells.
# lgbt in prison
'They think you are a poof and they prey on you'
A new report documents the experiences of LGBT people in prison, an “invisible population”.
# Cutbacks
'From scumbag to student': The power of prison education
A former prisoner, who went from drug dealer to master’s student, has called for more funding for education in prisons. He admitted it will be “a hard sell”.
# Prison
Prison body wants a dedicated strategy for Travellers leaving prisons
The Irish Penal Reform Trust wants ethnic monitoring in prison
# phone recording
Penal Reform Trust to Prison Service: Prisoners deserve an apology along with lawyers
The Irish Penal Reform Trust have also questioned how the issue of phone recording could remain hidden for four years.
# Prison reform
Committee calls on government to reduce prisoner numbers by one-third
The committee also recommended that sentences of six months or less for non-violent crimes be replaced with community service orders.
# Prison
Report asks for more supports for children with parents in prison
The Irish Penal Reform Trust has made a number of recommendations about the rights and needs of families of prisoners.
# Prison
Call for reforms to ensure "fair and transparent" early release of prisoners
The IPRT recommends that a single ‘Early Release Act’ should be enacted to overhaul the current systems of remission, temporary release and parole.
# Prisons
Dramatic 45 per cent increase in numbers sent to prison
However, the number of prison staff has actually fallen over the last five years.
# Prisons
Prison officer 'slashed across face and hands with razor blades'
The Prison Officers Association is warning that overcrowding in prisons makes attacks on other prisoners and prison officers more likely.
# Prison deaths
Every prisoner death to come under independent investigation
The inspector of prisons will investigate the death of every person in the custody of the Irish Prison Service.
# Juvenile offenders
Ombudsman welcomes decision to end detention of children in St Patrick’s
The decision to end the long-standing practice of housing juvenile offenders in an adult prison has been welcomed.
# Prisons
Funding secured to end detention of children in adult prison
The €50m funding will mean the end of housing underage offenders in St Patrick’s Institution, which is an adult prison.
# Prisons
Inspector's report finds Limerick Prison 'has made progress'
A report by the Inspector of Prisons earlier this year had found that Limerick Prison was not fit for purpose and needed a ‘regime change’.
# Fines
Guess how many people have been jailed for not paying fines this year?
New figures reveal the thousands of people who have been jailed this year in Ireland for non-payment of fines.
Column: Long jail terms don’t work in tackling crime – no matter what ‘common sense’ says
Our prisons are bursting, and yet we continue to lock more people up. To keep communities safe we need a serious rethink, writes Liam Herrick.
# Prison
Government urged to address 'sub-standard' prison conditions
The Irish Penal Reform Trust has also asked the government to commit to a timeframe in bringing prison conditions in line with international standards.
Deep concern expressed by UN at levels of overcrowding in Irish prisons
United Nations Committee against Torture recommends that a mechanism should be astablished to facilitate criminal complaints. It also calls the practice of slopping out “inhumane”.