The move will bring Ireland into line with other jurisdictions which provide for independent oversight of prisoner complaints.
Ombudsman Peter Tyndall said:
"I warmly welcome Minister Fitzgerald’s announcement that my Office should examine complaints from adult prisoners. Ombudsmen in other jurisdictions deal with complaints from prisoners and we are delighted to take on this role in Ireland. We will work closely with the Irish Prison Service, the Department of Justice and Equality, the Inspector of Prisons and other key stakeholders to put an effective complaints process in place that benefits both prisoners and the prison service.”
No date has been set from when prisoners can bring a complaint to the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman’s office will actively engage with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in this regard. Before bringing a complaint to the Ombudsman a prisoner will be expected to have given the Irish Prison Service an opportunity to resolve their complaint.
Further information will be provided on the Ombudsman’s website www.ombudsman.ie when it is available.