Public Consultation on the Review of Prison Rules - August 18th, 2021


HAVE YOUR SAY – REVIEW OF PRISON RULES

The Irish Prison Service has announced that it is carrying out a full review of the 2007 Prison Rules. The current Prison Rules were enacted in May 2007.

The Prison Rules set out the rules and regulations with regard to the various conditions in prisons in Ireland, including: admission, registration, accommodation, visiting rights, health, discipline, education, etc. They include specific rules on the role of the Prison Governor, the role of Prison Officers and the operation of regimes and services within prisons on a daily basis.

The Irish Prison Service has now opened the public consultation on the “Review of Prison Rules” and has called on interested parties to submit their view and opinions.

 

WHY ARE WE REVIEWING THE PRISON RULES NOW?

The drafting of the 2007 Prison Rules was influenced by the publication of the European Prison Rules which were published the preceding year (in 2006). In July 2020 an updated version of the European Prison Rules was published by the Council of Europe.

The updated rules, which contain the key legal standards and principles related to prison management, staff and treatment of detainees and are a global reference in this field, guide the 47 Council of Europe member states in their legislation, policies and practices.

The revision concerns the rules on the record keeping of information about inmates and the management of their files, the treatment of women prisoners, foreign nationals, as well as the use of special high security or safety measures such as the separation of prisoners from other inmates, solitary confinement, instruments of restraint, the need to ensure adequate levels in prison staff, inspection and independent monitoring.

In reviewing the Prison Rules now, the Irish Prison Service wishes to take account of the updated European Prison Rules and also consider changes within the Irish Prison Service, the prison system and also changes that have occurred within the wider criminal justice system over the past 14 years.

These include organisational developments in the prison system including security and operational developments; societal and prison demographical changes; technological advancements and changes to processes and procedures.

 

WHAT ARE WE CONSULTING ON?

The review of Prison Rules 2007 aims to ensure that the revised Prison Rules reflect the changing nature of European penology law and recommendations by taking account of the European Prison Rules and Council of Europe recommendations introduced since the introduction of Prison Rules 2007.

The Irish Prison Service is seeking the views and opinion of interested parties on the content of the next version of the Prison rules. Submission may include views and opinions on areas for updating outside of the changes made in the European Prison Rules.

Submissions which suggest significant amendments to the rules including the complete removal of a rule or the addition of a new rule should include a rationale for same.

 

WHAT WE NEED YOU TO DO?

If you wish to make a submission on the Review of Prison rules you should send your submission by email to prisonrulesreview@irishprisons.ie or by post to:

 

Prison Rules Review
Irish Prison Service
Ballinalee Road
Longford Town
Co. Longford
N39 A308

 

Closing date for submissions is 5pm on 30th September 2021