In March 2021, the Office of the Inspector of Prisons embarked on a robust programme of COVID-19 Thematic Inspections designed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on all Irish prisons.
The inspection process is as follows:
Below are materials developed as part of these inspections:
(1) Call Template: The inspection visit to the prison is complemented by ongoing telephone communications with the prison. These calls are designed to: (i) identify COVID-19 related practices in the prison across the Inspection Framework Focus Areas; (ii) highlight areas of concern that may require further attention as part of an inspection visit; (iii) monitor implementation status of Irish Prison Service Action Plans developed to respond to Inspectorate Recommendations; and (iv) provide prison management with an opportunity to indicate positive advancements and challenges related to COVID-19 related restrictions in the prison.
(2) Infection Control Protocol: The Office of the Inspector of Prisons’ infection control protocol outlines a plan to complete COVID-19 inspections to a process which is in line with Public Health advice, and aims to protect the safety of people in prison and staff working in prisons by limiting the risk of COVID-19 disease transmission.