Prisoner Rights and Prisoner Complaints


Strengthening Accountability Behind Bars

Prisoner Rights and Prisoner Complaint

Friday, March 30th, 2012 at 11am

Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2

The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) is delighted to invite you to our upcoming seminar and launch event, Strengthening Accountability Behind Bars, which seeks to outline the rights of prisoners while they are in custody, whilst also examining the structures necessary to protect these rights. The event takes place at 11am on Friday, March 30th in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

 A new publication, the Know Your Rights Your Rights as a Prisoner pack, produced in association with the ICCL, will be launched at the event. The pack aims to help prisoners understand the rights they have while in prison, and is written in everyday language.

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. To this end, IPRT is delighted to welcome as our Key Note speaker Northern Ireland Prisoner Ombudsman, Pauline McCabe, to Dublin as our keynote speaker. In a short number of years, Pauline has established her office at the cutting edge of prison accountability internationally and she will speak about her work investigating prisoner complaints and deaths in custody and will address wider themes of accountability within the prison system in Northern Ireland.

A panel discussion will follow the address; panellists will include representatives from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Irish Prison Service, and the Prison Officers Association.

 This publication and seminar are funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, as part of its Research Development Initiative.

 The event is free but places are limited! To register for the event, please contact Mary Gaffney at or call 01-874 1400.

 If you would like a copy of the Know Your Rights Your Rights as a Prisoner pack but are unable to attend the event, simply email Mary at

1.       Know Your Rights: Your Rights as a Prisoner

This is the fourth pack in the Know Your Rights series, a public information project of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). Produced jointly with the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT), the Your Rights as a Prisoner pack aims to help prisoners understand the rights they have while in prison. It is written in everyday language and is informative and easy to use. It will be available in audio format and in translation fro summer 2012.

2.       IPRT Position Paper 7: Complaints, Monitoring and Inspection in Prisons

This Position Paper assesses the current complaints and investigation structures in Ireland against international human rights standards and obligations, and makes a series of recommendations for the improvement of current mechanisms, including a call for the establishment of an Office of Prisoner Ombudsman to deal with individual complaints. Download the paper here:,_Monitoring_and_Inspection_in_Prisons.pdf

3.       Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) |
IPRT is Ireland's leading non-governmental organisation campaigning for the rights of everyone in prison and the progressive reform of Irish penal policy, with prison as a last resort.

4.       Know Your Rights |

The Irish Council for Liberties (ICCL) Know Your Rights public information project is designed to inform people in clear and accessible language about their rights under various key areas of the law in Ireland. Topics covered in Know Your Rights booklets include: Criminal Justice and Garda Powers, Privacy and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).