Home > Progress in the penal system: A framework for penal reform.

Irish Penal Reform Trust. (2018) Progress in the penal system: A framework for penal reform. Dublin: Irish Penal Reform Trust.

PDF (Progress in the Penal System)

Progress in the Penal System: 2018 examines Ireland’s progress in the penal system over the last year. PIPS 2017 set out a clear vision for the future of the penal system in Ireland as part of this overall project. Standards were set, guided by international best practice and human rights frameworks.

Our vision is that as a small wealthy nation, Ireland can go beyond minimum human rights frameworks and has the potential to be a leading model of international best penal practice. In this respect, IPRT established a number of guiding principles of penal reform. These include:
1. Imprisonment as a last resort
2. Recognition of the harms and costs associated with imprisonment
3. Deprivation of liberty is the punishment
4. Balancing of security, safety and protection of prisoners while ensuring a humane regime
5. Protection and promotion of human rights, equality and social justice
6. Emphasis on rehabilitation and reintegration

Readers should reflect on these principles, in particular on how they should guide the work of the change-makers, as well as their relevance to the various standards.

14. Addiction and treatment
IPRT welcomes the identification of addiction as primarily a health rather than a criminal justice issue in the National Drugs Strategy 2017–2025. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) (2018) found:
1. Opioid substitution treatment is protective against death in prison for opioid-dependent prisoners.
2. Substitution treatment is also important in prison in reducing injecting risk behaviours.
3. Continuity of treatment is recommended to prevent overdose death in the period directly following prison release.

More information is required in order to effectively assess this area, including availability and access to addiction services and treatment both within prison and upon release, waiting lists for treatment programmes such as residential and substitution treatment and evaluation of outcomes.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
October 2018
116 p.
Irish Penal Reform Trust
Corporate Creators
Irish Penal Reform Trust
Place of Publication
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