Preparing for Release

Irish prisoners overseas are at a disadvantage as they don’t have the same opportunities to prepare for release as people imprisoned in Ireland. Many of our clients have lived and been imprisoned abroad for many years. We provide them with advice and support in advance of their release and assist them in accessing the supports they will require upon their return to Ireland. ICPO can make referrals to various services to help around benefits, education, training and in some instances, supported housing. It is necessary for those imprisoned abroad to start planning for resettlement well ahead of time, as much as a year in advance in some cases.

The biggest issues that many clients initially face in returning to Ireland are accessing benefits and finding suitable accommodation. It is vital that people gather and keep any documentation they have in relation to their detention and, if possible, keep a copy of their passport or temporary travel document.

The Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas (ICPO) has observed that the particular circumstances of Irish people in prison overseas, and the difficulties they face, can place them in greater need of post-release support and can put them at a particular disadvantage when it comes to preparing for release.  The report A Step At A Time The Resettlement Needs of Irish People Returning From Prison Overseas was commissioned in order to further investigate the particular resettlement needs of Irish people returning to Ireland from prison overseas.

For further information on the post-release supports available read our leaflet produced in conjunction with Crosscare Migrant Project
Preparing for Release