Know Your Rights - Your Rights As A Prisoner

The information on this website is designed to help you to better know and understand the rights someone has while they are in prison. This website is an interactive version of IPRT and ICCL's 'Know Your Rights - Your Rights as a Prisoner' booklet.

The booklet is available for download in different formats by clicking the orange button.

Please don’t be put off by the amount of information on this website. You can read and/or print just the sections that are important to you. We have done our best to write and present this information as clearly as we can, and we start below by explaining some of the key words used on this website.

You can always click back to the 'Key Words' section if you come across a word you do not understand. We used Plain English Guidelines to help as many people as possible understand the information.

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84 Page PDF

About This Guide

This website aims to help you to understand the rights you have while in prison. It is a summary of some important legal rules. It is an update of the Irish Penal Reform Trust and Irish Council for Civil Liberties ‘Know Your Rights – Your Rights as a Prisoner’ booklet published in 2012 and so includes changes made to legal rules or relevant laws since then.

We have included a section ‘Key words’  here, that we hope will help you better understand this website.

This website does not and should not replace legal advice for your own particular situation.

If anything you read in this website makes you think about making a complaint, you should read the section on ‘Complaints’ or speak to your legal advisor.

If you need legal advice, you must check with a legal advisor such as a solicitor. We can’t advise you on your individual situation or on the law

The answers on this website - a word of warning!

This website is long, and you are not expected to read it all at one time.

We have done our best to make sure this website is accurate, but we cannot be responsible for any mistakes or things left out. Also, rules and laws change over time and this website may not be up to date when you use it.

You should make sure that you find out what the current position is on any particular issue from the prison or your solicitor.

Many of the answers to questions in this website are not answered with a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Sometimes we might answer a question with a ‘maybe’ or use words like ‘if possible’ and so on.

This is because many of the rights of prisoners listed in the Prison Rules say things like ‘as far as practicable’. This means that the prison authorities have to do their best to respect these rights but still have to work with the resources available to them. However, remember that lack of resources is not an excuse for not delivering your rights.