About the Irish Prison Service

Political responsibility for the prison system in Ireland is vested in the Minister for Justice. The Irish Prison Service operates as an Office of the Department of Justice and is headed by the Director General supported by five Directors.


Criminal justice System Chart

Criminal justice System Chart


The Irish Prison Service forms a key component of the criminal justice system. Its fundamental role is to help achieve a safer and fairer Ireland by:

  • Providing safe and secure custody with dignity of care for people committed to prison.
  • Reducing the risk of harm to the public and the likelihood of reoffending by providing rehabilitation for people in prison.
  • Working with the Probation Service to create an integrated offender management programme.
  • Assisting people in prison maintain family relations and contact with the wider community.
  • Ensuring the health and safety of all those who live and work in our prisons through the implementation of effective infection control measures and supporting policies and procedures at local and national level.

The Irish Prison Service is responsible for the safe and secure custody of persons sentenced to prison, held on remand, or held on immigration matters. It is responsible for ensuring that convicted persons properly serve their sentence and for providing them with opportunities to engage in a meaningful way to reduce the likelihood of re-offending and assist their reintegration into law-abiding society.

The Irish Prison Service deals with male and female offenders who are 18 years of age or older. There are 12 operational prisons in the Irish prison estate, comprising of 10 traditional ‘closed’ prisons and two ‘open’ centres (the latter operate with minimal internal and perimeter security).

Thee Irish Prison Service is administered centrally with its headquarters located at:

IDA Business Park, Ballinalee Road, Longford, Co. Longford, N39 A308

Phone: +353 43 33 35100

Fax: +353 43 33 35371
Email:  info@irishprisons.ie

Google Map