Judges who opt for custodial sentences of less than 12 months instead of a non-custodial alternative  should be legally compelled to explain why, a  paper by the Irish Penal Reform Trust says. File photograph: Getty Images

Judges who send people to prison for less than a year should have to submit written justifications for doing so, a new paper by the Irish Penal Reform(...)

There is very limited access for children who have parents in prison,  with “screened” visits and six-minute  a day  phone calls

Children with a parent in prison are particularly vulnerable, and yet very little is known about them in the State, a conference in Dublin heard on We(...)

Human rights watchdog concerned that legislation to provide for right to a lawyer has been passed but still not implemented six years later

The UN Committee against Torture has criticised the Government for failing to implement legislation guaranteeing those in Garda custody the right to l(...)

The UN Committee against Torture was concerned the State’s commission of investigation into mother and baby homes “did not allow it to investigate all institutions in the country at which abuses including forced and illegal adoptions may have occurred”. File photograph: Getty Images

The UN Committee against Torture has called on the Government to carry out an independent investigation into allegations of ill-treatment at all mothe(...)

Minister of State for Equality David Stanton: A Government delegation, led by Mr Stanton, will face questioning on issues including access to a lawyer for people in Garda custody and the impact of Ireland’s abortion regime on women and girls. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The treatment of people in Garda custody, including foreign nationals refused entry to Ireland, was among the issues raised at the UN Committee Agains(...)

Up to the end of May this year there had been 163 committals for immigration issues. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

More than 400 people were held in prison last year in relation to immigration issues, mainly awaiting deportation. Figures from the Irish Prison Ser(...)

The Children Act 2001 states an order can be imposed if a court is satisfied that “a wilful failure of the child’s parents to take care of or control the child contributed to the child’s criminal behaviour”.

A law which allows the monitoring and punishment of parents who fail to control their children should be abolished as it “criminalises” parents, a Chi(...)

The Circle at St Patrick’s Institution, North Circular Road, Dublin.

For years there have been demands for St Patrick’s Institution to close its doors. Drawing heavy criticism both domestically and abroad, its decommiss(...)

The figures were obtained by Independents4Change TD Clare Daly from Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Fergal Phillips.

Judges are ignoring legislation stipulating criminals convicted of commercial-scale drug dealing must be jailed for a minimum of 10 years unless ther(...)

Thirty-four per cent of 825 drug dealers convicted in the courts over the past five years were given a suspended sentence.

It will come as news to many people that the law defines commercial-scale drug dealing as those offences involving consignments of drugs valued at €12(...)

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