The Prison Service launched a review of S/I No. 252/2007 Prison Rules, 2007 in September 2021.
NDA Submission to Prison Rules Review
The NDA made a brief submission, making the following points:
The revised Prison Rules should be cognisant of UNCRPD, especially Article 14 (Liberty and Security of the Person) which states that, if persons with disabilities are deprived of their liberty for a legitimate reason, they are entitled to guarantees in accordance with international human rights law, and shall be treated in compliance with the objectives and principles of the UNCRPD, including by provision of reasonable accommodation
The revised Prison Rules should set out the provision of accommodations as required by prisoners with disabilities, including accessible built environments and communications
The NDA welcomed the allocation in Budget 2022 of additional funding, dedicated to recruiting more psychologists and specialist mental health nurses, to support the substantial number of vulnerable persons in the prison system. This is in line with ongoing work under the NDIS to establish a high-level taskforce to consider the mental health and addiction challenges of persons interacting with the criminal justice system.
The NDA also made points around facilitating education and employment opportunities for prisoners with disabilities, providing disability awareness training for all staff and working closely with the Irish Probation Service to ensure seamless transitions for prisoners with disabilities re-entering the community.