Prison culture report presented to Justice Minister

Judge Michael Reilly
Judge Michael Reilly

A report by prisons inspector Judge Michael Reilly and Professor Andrew Coyle on the culture within the Irish Prison Service has been presented to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

The report, titled Culture and Organisation in the Irish Prison Service: A Road Map for the Future, provides an assessment of analysis of the current situation and makes recommendations for changes in the future.

The report also suggests a “separate, independent and comprehensive review” of rehabilitation within the prison system, especially in respect to mental health care and substance abuse.

In the report’s introduction, Judge Reilly wrote: “I felt that the time was opportune to conduct an independent overall review of the Irish prison system looking in particular at the current culture within the service and to bring forward suggestions which would complement the progress made to date.

“I felt that I was the appropriate person to carry out this review, having regard to my accumulated knowledge, which would (unlike my reports to date which have dealt with individual issues) provide an analysis of the overall system and give an unbiased and independent view which would stand scrutiny in any forum and provide a roadmap for the development of the service for the next 10 to 20 years.

“The Minister was very supportive of my initiative and provided me with the resources necessary to carry out this review.”

He also said he invited Professor Coyle to work on the review in order to provide “additional weight and veracity to the review as well as corroboration of my assessment of the overall system as it stands”.

Professor Coyle is a former prison governor and a published academic on prison reform. He is a former advisor to the UK Home Secretary and has been a expert advisor to a number of Council of Europe andUnited Nations committees.

The full report is available for download here.

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