Prisons inspector calls for legislative changes needed by ‘modern inspectorate’

Prisons inspector calls for legislative changes needed by 'modern inspectorate'

Patricia Gilheaney

The Inspector of Prisons, Patricia Gilheaney, has called on the Government to bring forward legislative changes required by a “modern inspectorate”.

The Government has planned since 2011 to bring forward an Inspection of Places of Detention Bill to allow Ireland to implement the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said last summer that he wanted a draft scheme to be brought to Government by the end of 2018, but it has yet to materialise.

Writing in the introduction to her 2018 annual report, Ms Gilheaney said: “The current legislation underpinning the role of the Inspector of Prisons is lacking key provisions for a modern inspectorate and this has also been expressed by the previous holder of this Office.”

She added: “I appreciate that the aforementioned Bill cuts across many Departments and not solely Justice and Equality and this adds to its complexity. I offer my full support in progressing this essential legislation.”

Ms Gilheaney added that she had submitted her own views on the draft scheme to the Department in September 2018.

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