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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Going To Prison

How will I be treated on the way to prison?

  • You have the right to be hidden from the public as much as possible while being taken to and from prison.
  • You should not have to suffer insult or publicity of any kind.
  • The vehicle in which you are travelling should be safe and comfortable. (Rule 50)

What does the Prison Officer or Garda do?

A Prison Custody Officer will be with you at all times when you are being taken to or from a prison.


If the officer believes you have banned items in your possession, they will search you. You may have to sit on the Body Orifice Security Scanner (BOSS) chair. This is a highly sensitive metal detector, which can detect items like mobile phones if you hide them inside your body.

Gives Court Order to Governor

When you arrive at the prison, the Garda or Prison Officer must give the Governor the court order about your prison sentence. (Rule 3)


If you are on any medication or you have a prescription for any medication, the Garda or Prison Officer must give this to the Governor and pass on any information that they have about your health. (Rule 4)

Information About You

The Garda or Prison Officer cannot give information about you to anyone outside the Prison Service unless the Minister for Justice orders them to. (Rule 51)