Prison and Justice Conference

10 Jan

The Prison and Justice Conference will take place at Queen’s University Belfast on 13th March 2017.

The conference will provide a forum for academics, practitioners, post-graduate researchers in the fields of criminology and cognate disciplines to enhance knowledge through disseminating research and discussing the challenges facing the prison and justice system today.

The call-for-abstracts is now open. The proposed themes for this conference include but are not limited to:

  • Restorative Justice
  • Prisoner Well-Being
  • Prison Education
  • Women in Prison
  • Trauma

If you would like to be considered for an oral or poster presentation, please submit a short abstract (max. 300 words), which should include a title, name and institutional/organisational affiliation by February 3rd. Notification of acceptance will be provided soon after. Please submit to

Please note that there is no registration fee for this conference, however, delegates must register in advance.

If you require further information or have any queries regarding this event, please contact us on:


Forthcoming Event: ‘Crime, Disorder and Symbolic Violence’

3 Jan

Dr Matt Bowden, Senior Lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology, will be discussing his recent book Crime, Disorder and Symbolic Violence: Governing the Urban Periphery (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) at the next meeting of The Differential Association.

Dr Bowden has previously blogged about this work for the Irish Criminology Research Network.

Crime, Disorder and Symbolic Violence employs theories and concepts developed by Pierre Bourdieu and examines the problems of the urban periphery, specifically in the context of Dublin’s new urban ‘edges’, the vast surplus of labour which ringed the city following huge shifts in Ireland’s industrial landscape. Dr Bowden argues in his book that the state devolved dealing with the crisis to the Department of Justice, as the state sought to govern through symbolic violence.

Dr Bowden will discuss this work at the author event, which will be followed by a Q&A session, and a small reception.

Event Details
The author event will be held on Monday 13th February at 6.30.
The event will be held at the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin.
The 39A Dublin Bus from Dublin City Centre (from stops at D’Olier Street, Nassau Street etc) drops you off a few minutes walk from the School of Law).

Please RSVP to

Invitation to Tender with IPRT: Solitary Confinement

9 Dec

Invitation to Tender: “Abolishing Solitary Confinement in Ireland”

The practice of solitary confinement is internationally regarded as the physical isolation of individuals who are confined to their cells for 22 to 24 hours a day. Meaningful contact or interaction with other people is reduced to a minimum, with some prisoners only allowed out of their cells for just one hour of solitary exercise each day. In 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture proposed a worldwide ban on prolonged solitary confinement (more than 15 days) as well as prohibiting solitary confinement from being used as a penalty, for persons with mental disabilities, and for juveniles. This is based on evidence that some of the harmful psychological effects of isolation can become irreversible after 15 days.

Despite this, solitary confinement is regularly used in Irish prisons both as a means of “protection” and as a punishment. The practice of isolating children is known as “single separation” while the use of 19+ hours lock up is generally referred to as a “restricted regime”. Worryingly, the numbers subject to a restricted regime in Irish prisons have shown an increase in 2016, from 339 in January to 424 in October (over 10% of the daily prison population in Ireland). Further, the published statistics do not tell us how long each of those prisoners actually spend in solitary confinement nor how often they are returned to solitary confinement, as the periods may be simply renewed.

In relation to children and detention, the Council of Europe has set out rules permitting separation only in very exceptional cases for security or safety reasons. Despite that, in 2015 HIQA reported that in the child detention school at Oberstown, Co. Dublin “single separation was used extensively and frequently for long periods of time” including 1,420 incidences of single separation between October and the end of May 2015.

Project Outline:
IPRT has secured funding from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to pursue an evidence-based research and awareness campaign towards the abolition of the use of solitary confinement in Ireland.

Tender Process:
Tendering individuals or organisations must submit a tender document of no more than 4 pages. Each tender should include:

  • A profile or CV of the individual making the proposal;
    • Details of previous relevant work in this area;
    • 2 samples of written work (these may be URLs to work published online);
    • The methodology you propose to adopt to achieve the key deliverables;
    • Costing and timeline with respect to the proposed work expressed within the overall budget for research of €10,000 (incl. VAT if applicable).

Full details are available here

Tenders should be submitted by e-mail to by
noon on Monday 19 December 2016.

Funded PhD and MLitt Scholarships – Trinity College Dublin

9 Dec

The School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, invites applications for three prestigious European Research Council-funded scholarships for PhD and MLitt training opportunities. These scholarships will be of interest to graduates of law or the social sciences.

Prisons: the rule of law, accountability and rights (PRILA) is a research project funded by the European Research Council. The Principal Investigator on the project, Dr. Mary Rogan, Associate Professor in Law, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, is seekin three scholars for the project:

  • 2 full-time PhD scholars: approximately €18,000 p.a (comprising the cost of
    home/EU fees per year, and a stipend of €12,000 p.a), for up to 4 years. Any
    costs for fees above the EU rates must be borne by the scholar. In addition,
    direct research expenses will also be covered by PRILA.
  • 1 full OR part-time MLitt scholar: approximately €8,000 p.a. full-time for up
    to two years, (comprising cost of home/EU fees per year and a stipend of
    €2,000 p.a) OR €4,200 p.a., part-time for up to four years (comprising cost of
    home/EU fees p.a. only). Any costs for fees above the home/EU rates must
    be borne by the scholar. In addition, direct research expenses will also be
    covered by PRILA.

The start date for all scholarships is planned to be March 30th 2017, but is subject to negotiation. The closing date for applications is January 20th 2017. The maximum period of funding is four years; the project and funding ends on March 30th 2021. Students will be placed on the structured PhD/MLitt programme at the School of Law.

The PhD and MLitt scholars will be joining a team of multidisciplinary scholars working in Ireland and around the world on a groundbreaking study on the rule of law, accountability and human rights in prisons.

More details including the background to the project, essential and desirable criteria and how to apply can be found here: phd-and-mlitt-scholarships-prila

Photography Exhibition: Experiences of Probation Supervision

1 Nov

The UCD School of Law, together with the Probation Service, are hosting an exhibition of photographs produced by people on probation which reflect their experiences of supervision – the ‘Supervisible Photography Exhibition‘.

Please see note below for more information on this event, being held on Friday 4th Nov at the Tallaght Probation Project:


Irish Postgraduate Conference – Call for Papers

19 Oct


Irish Postgraduate Criminology Conference 2017


Cork Road Campus, Waterford City
Waterford Institute of Technology
Thursday 23rd February 2017


Building on the success of the past two years in Dublin and Belfast, the Irish Postgraduate Criminology Conference will return in 2017 for its third annual conference. This year the conference will be held in Waterford Institute of Technology on Thursday, the 23rd February 2017. The theme of the conference is open and proposals for papers covering all areas of criminological research are welcome. The main aim of this conference is to provide masters and doctoral students with the opportunity to share their research in a friendly and supportive environment. With this in mind, two presentation formats are available.

  1. Conference paper: these will be allocated to thematic sessions and each presenter will be given 15 minutes to present.
  1. “Works in Progress” paper: we will hold a session entitled “Works in Progress” where students in the early stages of their research, or those who are experiencing challenges with one particular aspect of it, can present a 3 minute presentation and receive feedback on their work from an expert panel. Among others, areas that might be covered in this panel include:

– The focus of your research question
– Your theoretical framework
– What methodology you plan to use
– How you plan to analyse your data

Submission of Proposals
If you would like your paper to be considered for the conference, please complete the conference application form [click here] by the 30thNovember 2016.

You can register for the conference here [click here]. This conference is FREE and has kindly been sponsored by the School of Humanities at Waterford institute of Technology.

Book of Proceedings
The conference organisers are interested in publishing a book of proceedings from this conference. You will be asked to indicate your interest in contributing to the book in the conference application. Please keep an eye on the website for further updates.

Further Information:
If you require further information or have any queries regarding the Irish Postgraduate Criminology Conference 2017, please see the conference website: or email

Deaths in Custody: Helping to Establish the First Database in Ireland

18 Oct

A recent University of Limerick research project has attempted to draw together guidelines for the first database of deaths in custody in Ireland.

Led by Professor Shane Kilcommins and Dr Eimear Spain, 10 4th-year law students – Roisin Cahill, Blathnaid Christian O Shea, Maire Ciepierski , Caoilinn Doran, Cillian Flavin, Niall Foley, Michelle Kavanagh, Luke Mulcahy, Rachel O’Carroll and Stephen Strauss-Walsh – conducted a literature review of other common law jurisdictions to compile a means of designing a database in line with international best practice.

The Report draws together these findings and offers a concise overview of the current procedures for the investigation of deaths in custody, as well as an overview of literature on deaths in custody. The Report itself has been presented to the Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly, and is expected to be presented to the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald.