Information and Support
We provide support to all prisoners entitled to Irish citizenship and assist clients with a wide range of issues, including repatriation, deportation, health and legal matters, discrimination, ill-treatment and access to post-release support and accommodation. We advise clients on these issues and work closely with Government Departments, statutory agencies, solicitors, probation officers, prison officials, local authorities and welfare agencies to meet their specific needs. An important part of our work involves making representations on behalf of clients to prison authorities and other relevant parties.
Where possible we organise visitors for Irish people detained abroad. For some this may be their only contact with the outside world. Prison visitors provide practical support to prisoners and raise matters of concern (e.g. prisoner’s welfare) with the ICPO for follow up. In addition to these prison visitors, ICPO staff undertake a considerable number of prison visits in the UK, US, Europe, Australia and more recently parts of Asia, the Middle East and South America.
We remain in regular contact with clients, especially those who have little or no other form of support, and provide them with prepaid envelopes to allow them to keep in touch. We send out our newsletter ICPO News twice a year and all ICPO clients also receive a Christmas newsletter, Christmas card and St. Patrick’s Day card each year.
We send CDs, dictionaries and phrase books to prisoners who wish to learn the language of the country they are in and provide books, including those by Irish authors and of Irish interest, to clients who have no or limited access to a prison library.
The ICPO coordinates the entries and sponsors the Prisoners Overseas Award in the ‘Writing in Prisons’ section of the Listowel Writers’ Week. We are very grateful to the festival committee for assisting Irish prisoners overseas to participate in this wonderful competition.
The ICPO administers a Hardship Fund which provides financial support to vulnerable Irish prisoners overseas. This fund is used to assist clients who are unable to access basic necessities, such as food, water, clothes and medical treatment