Pavee Point co-director Martin Collins, researcher Liza Costello and Irish Penal Reform Trust executive director  Deirdre Malone at the publication of a report on Travellers in the Irish prison system. Photograph:  Derek Speirs

Effective methods of “ethnic monitoring” are required in Irish prisons as part of an overall strategy to aid Travellers break the cycle of offending b(...)

Considerable progress has been made in dealing with issues of overcrowding, drug abuse and violence within the prison system. Reports from visiting co(...)

A new report documents parents going hungry to feed their children, people unable to heat their homes and a young generation at serious risk of being lost to unemployment, drugs and crime. Photograph: Getty Images/Hemera

Stories of ordinary people who are “at breaking point” after three years of austerity policies, and up to six years of recession, are told in a(...)

Liam Herrick has been director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust since 2007. Photograph: Eric Luke

A human rights specialist with a long record in equality and legal reform will be announced as President Michael D Higgins’s new special adviser this (...)

Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons, said the number of committals to Dóchas Centre had increased from 155 in 1990 to 2,092 last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The main prison for women has “lost its way”, being characterised by a disconnect between management and staff, junior staff not being supported, disc(...)

‘I forgive you’: Joanne Nodding, who met the man who raped her. Photograph:  Christopher Thomond/Guardian News & Media

On the morning Joanne Nodding met the man who raped her, she was struck by something she never expected. “He looked terrified. He was like a scared li(...)

Deterrent?: under Megan’s Law, US towns can put up signs about sex offenders. Photograph: Dith Pran/New York Times

In Germany paedophiles can volunteer to be castrated. In the US their faces and personal details are disclosed on official websites, and towns signpos(...)

Dave* is one of the Samaritans-trained ‘listeners’ in Dublin’s Wheatfield Prison, who counsel other prisoners about mental health issues: ‘Prison is so fake . . . The listeners let you take off your mask.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Peter* was just 17 when he first entered solitary confinement. “I had 30 days of my sentence left – I will never forget it – and I got into a fight. B(...)

Irish Penal Reform Trust said holding a prisoner in isolation should be used only “as a measure of last resort”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

DAN GRIFFINA prisoners rights’ group has called on the Irish Prison Service (IPS) to reduce the use of solitary confinement and prolonged lock-up in p(...)

 Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman

Noel Callan was 22 years old when Michael McHugh, an older workmate, approached him with a plan to rob the labour exchange in Ardee, Co Louth. The rob(...)

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