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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Immigration Detainees

As an immigration detainee what can I expect in prison?

If you are not an Irish citizen and you are kept in prison for any reason, the prison Governor must make sure you:

  • can contact a legal advisor
  • understand the rules about legal visits.

Your legal advisor can visit you at any reasonable time during the day and you should always be allowed a visit from them.


What should I do if I am detained and want to apply for asylum?

Asylum is protection from the State for people who have left their native country as refugees escaping from danger.

You should tell the Governor or your Class Officer that you want your legal advisor to visit you to start your asylum application. If you need an interpreter to help you communicate with your legal advisor, the Governor may provide one.

If you are applying for asylum, you should also be able to contact, (Rule 16), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees through their office in Ireland. You should also be able to contact any bodies that aim to protect the civil and human rights of foreign nationals or asylum seekers in Ireland or internationally like:

  • the Immigrant Council Of Ireland
  • the Irish Refugee Council
  • NASC (The Irish Immigrant Support Centre)

You should be allowed visits from these organisations. However, a Prison Officer can be there during the visit, unless the Governor says otherwise.