Irish people in prison overseas face significant difficulties, including dealing an unfamiliar legal system, discrimination and language barriers. Some prisoners experience extreme hardship, with limited access to basic necessities, and in some jurisdictions prison conditions and safety are a major cause of concern.
The Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas (ICPO) provides information and support to Irish prisoners overseas and their families. The ICPO was established by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in 1985 in response to serious concerns regarding the number of Irish men and women in UK prisons. The ICPO is a subcommittee of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants (IECE) and comes under the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care.
Our objectives are to:
- Identify and respond to the needs of Irish prisoners abroad and their families;
- Research and provide relevant information to prisoners on issues such as deportation, repatriation and transfer;
- Focus public attention on issues affecting Irish prisoners;
- Engage in practical work in aid of justice and human rights for Irish migrants, refugees and prisoners at an international level;
- Visit Irish prisoners abroad when possible in the UK and elsewhere.