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Numbers on remand up significantly – IPRT

29 May 2023 / justice Print

Numbers on remand up significantly – IPRT

A report by the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) shows that 33% of prisoners are on waiting lists to access mental-health supports 

The report also states that prisoners sleeping on mattresses a regular feature across prison estate.

The sixth annual ‘Progress in the Penal System’ (PIPS) report for 2022, assesses Ireland’s penal system against international human rights standards of prison conditions.

The report has noted an increasing prison population, despite a Government commitment to look at measures which aim to reduce reoffending, support desistance from offending, avoid overcrowding, and reduce reliance on custodial sentences.


The IPRT report findings show that, despite some pockets of progress in 2022, a lack of policy implementation the areas of mental health and overcrowding, risks reversal.

Acting executive director Molly Joyce said: “There has been some significant progress around our approach to mental health in the criminal justice system in 2022, including through the work of the High Level Task Force to consider the mental health and addiction challenges of those who come into contact with the criminal justice sector and the opening of a new Central Mental Hospital that provides modern forensic mental facilities to patients.”

“For too long prison has been the default option for people who experience mental health issues or the challenges associated with addiction, and the Task Force’s focus on diverting these people from prison is accordingly very welcome.

“That said, mental health remains a deeply pressing issue within our prisons, with approximately 33% of prisoners on waiting lists to access psychology services at the start of 2023 and 18 people in prison on the waiting list for the Central Mental Hospital as of the end of December 2022.”

An 8% increase in the annual average number of people in prison between 2021 (3,794) and 2022 (4,095) had a knock-on impact on rehabilitative services, the report states.

In December 2022 there were 2,408 instances of prisoners sleeping on mattresses and – as of 1 December 2022 – there were 104 prisoners sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

More prisoners on remand

The 2022 report further notes that there was an average of 875 people held on remand in 2022, compared to an average of 584 people on remand in 2017.

Gazette Desk
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