IRPT Project - “Making Rights Real: Disability in Detention”


The Project Objectives

In Ireland, there is a deficit of research on the prevalence and experience of disability in the criminal justice system yet international research suggests that people with disabilities are over-represented in detention settings. The project aims, in the short term, to create a sound evidence base and raise awareness of intersectional discrimination and human rights breaches against people with disabilities in detention. In the medium term, we wish to build capacity among civil society organisations and state bodies to recognise and address these challenges. Our ultimate aim is to make rights real; eliminate discrimination against this population, and ensure individuals with severe disabilities receive appropriate care in alternative rehabilitative settings where appropriate.

The research should include the following:

  • Description of the rights, needs and experiences of those with disabilities (including intellectual disability) in the prison system;
  • A literature review that provides an up to date analysis of current issues for people with disabilities in the penal system;
  • An examination of international approaches to making rights real for those with disabilities in detention including reduction of the use of detention in these cases;
  • Proposals for evidence-informed policy recommendations, in line with international best practices, including analysis of how the Public Sector Duty might be effectively implemented in the area of disability in detention