Segregation has been described as “the most onerous and depriving experience that the state can legally administer”.
For that reason, Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has been campaigning for a number of years to abolish solitary confinement and substantially reduce the use of what has been commonly known as ‘restricted regimes’. Since IPRT’s campaign began in 2013, the numbers held in solitary confinement in Ireland have been regularly published by the Irish Prison Service, and the numbers locked up for 22 or more hours per day have reduced significantly.
In November 2016, IRPT was awarded grant funding from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for our project, Abolishing Solitary Confinement in Prisons in Ireland, an evidence-based research and awareness campaign. This report forms the central plank of that project.