IPRT Open Forum

The 2010 AGM of IPRT will take place at 4pm on Monday, 28th June at the Morrison Hotel on Ormond Quay, Dublin. The AGM will be followed by an open public forum.

All members are encouraged to come along to the AGM for a full update on the activities of the year past and the year to come. The Open Forum is open to all.

Open Forum 2010

Exploding Prisoner Numbers – Causes, Effects and Solutions

In June 2009, the IPRT Public Forum spoke out against the current prison-building programme, bringing international experts to Dublin to address the question of whether penal expansionism or penal moderation will lead to a safer society for all.

In June 2010, we will explore what is driving the continuing rise in prison numbers in Ireland, and seek to identify practical solutions.

Event details

  • Monday 28th June, 2010
  • 6-8pm (the event is preceded by the IPRT AGM, which begins 4pm)
  • Morrison Hotel, Ormond Quay, Dublin 1


  • Chairperson: Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons
  • Current Trends in Prison Population -Dr Mary Rogan, Irish Penal Reform Trust
  • Overview of Sentencing Patterns – Tom O’Malley, NUI Galway and the Irish Sentencing Information System
  • The Use of Community Sanctions – Vivian Geiran, Director of Operations, The Probation Service
  • Crime Rates and Crime Detection – Louis Harkin, Assistant Commissioner, An Garda Síochána


Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people imprisoned in Ireland, from a daily prison population of 2,180 as recently as 1990 to 4,200 people in custody today.  The annual rate of increase is now running at 10% and when one factors in the high use of temporary release at present (upwards from 700 sentenced persons on a given day) we are fast approaching a level of imprisonment that would have been unimaginable until recently.

This explosion in numbers has had a serious impact on our prisons, where overcrowding is at chronic levels, placing prisoners and staff at great risk and frustrating attempts at rehabilitation.  The increase in incarceration also carries a significant economic cost at a time of scarce resources. This increase in the use of detention has occurred with little or no policy deliberation about the choices and options involved. Ireland seems to be drifting in the direction of the failed practices of incarceration we can see in other jurisdictions, rather than taking clear political decisions about the direction we want our penal policy to take.

IPRT believes that we urgently need to evaluate our sentencing practice and policy, alongside a deeper examination of crime patterns. For that reason, our Public Forum event this year will focus on exploring the causes of prison population growth and on the practical measures we can take to arrest that trend.  A panel of experts representing the key elements of the criminal justice system will offer different expert views on current imprisonment trends.  We hope that, with contributions from IPRT members and an audience of policy-makers and stakeholders within the penal system, the Forum will identify some practical measures to address this growing problem within our penal system.


To register for this free event, please email: info@iprt.ie

Alternatively, register online here.

Please note that places are strictly limited so registration is advised.

Not yet a member of IPRT?

Annual membership is just €20 for students, €40 for individuals, €80 for organizations/firms, and free to prisoners and their families.

We can’t promise you lots of free stuff, but by becoming a member of IPRT you will be expressing your support for urgent penal reform in Ireland.

Why not consider becoming a member now.

IPRT Open Forum

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