Over the last number of months, IPRT have been actively campaigning and advocating for children and families of people in prison. Since the publication of Maternal Imprisonment in Ireland: A Scoping Study published in March 2023, IPRT has continued to advocate for children and families of people in prison across wider policy and campaigns in the organisation. 

In addition to the PIPS 2022 report, IPRT has also completed a comprehensive pre-Budget submission for consideration by legislators which includes children and families of prisoners. 

Below is an overview of the Budget asks relating to action for children and families of people in prison. IPRT’s full pre-Budget submission is available here.

Allocate €2 million in funding to the Irish Prison Service (IPS) to facilitate improved family contact between people in prison and their families and children. 

This funding would ensure the completion of the roll-out of in-cell telephones to the remainder of prisons that are awaiting introduction of this facility as well as providing video-call infrastructure to all prisons similar to the specialist video call booths that have already been installed in Cloverhill, Castlerea and Midlands Prisons in 2022 as an additional form of strengthening family contact beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Any remaining funding should be used to provide and/or improve child and family-friendly visitation spaces in all prisons. 

Invest €300,000 in measures to counter recidivism and support the community reintegration of women leaving the criminal justice system, particularly those assessed to be low-risk to society. 

These measures should include scoping the costs, through consultation, of building an open prison for women. They should also include specific funding to support the delivery of stepdown, community-based facilities, that offer supported-accommodation and other support services (e.g., family reintegration, health and well-being supports, etc.) for women leaving prison. 

IPRT’s full pre-Budget submission is available here.