Prisons Act 2007


Sanctions for breach of prison discipline.

13.— (1) One or more than one of the following sanctions may be imposed on a prisoner who is found by the governor to have committed a breach of prison discipline:

( a) caution;

( b) reprimand;

( c) confinement in a cell (other than a special observation cell) for a period not exceeding 3 days;

( d) prohibition, for a period not exceeding 60 days, on—

(i) engaging in specified authorised structured activities or recreational activities,

(ii) receiving visits (except those from a doctor or other healthcare professional, his or her legal adviser, a chaplain or member of the visiting committee to the prison, the Inspector of Prisons, a judge or representative of a court or tribunal, a member of either House of the Oireachtas, a representative of the Minister, Parole Board, Human Rights Commission or European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment or, if the prisoner is a national of another state, a diplomatic or consular officer of that state),

(iii) sending or receiving letters (except letters from a person mentioned in subparagraph (ii) or the United Nations Committee against Torture or any document relating to the registration of electors (including entry in the postal voters’ list) or to voting at an election or a referendum),

(iv) using money or credit or any other facilities, including telephone facilities, or

(v) possessing specified articles or articles of a specified class the possession of which is permitted as a privilege;

( e) forfeiture of such sum of money credited or to be credited to the prisoner from public funds as may be specified by the governor;

( f) forfeiture of not more than 14 days’ remission of portion of a sentence;

( g) postponement, for a specified period not exceeding 60 days, of payment of the amount of any gratuity to which the prisoner would have been entitled under prison rules in respect of such a period;

( h) where the breach of prison discipline concerned relates to an attempt to escape from lawful custody, a requirement to wear prison clothes for a specified period not exceeding 60 days.

(2) The governor may suspend, subject to such conditions as he or she may specify, the operation of the whole or any part of a sanction so imposed (other than a sanction of forfeiture of remission) for a period not exceeding 3 months from the date of the conclusion of the inquiry concerned.

(3) If any condition to which a suspension is subject is not complied with during the period of suspension, the governor may direct—

( a) that the sanction shall take effect either forthwith or from a specified date, or

( b) that it be abated in a specified manner and, as so abated, so take effect.

(4) If any such conditions are complied with during the period of suspension, the sanction ceases to have effect at the end of that period.

(5) The governor may restore all or any part of any remission of portion of a sentence forfeited by a prisoner under this section if—

( a) he or she considers that its restoration is justified by the prisoner’s good behaviour over a period of time, or

( b) the prisoner has, in the opinion of the governor, performed an exceptionally meritorious act.

(6) Nothing in this section prevents the governor taking immediate provisional or protective measures to maintain order and discipline or prison security.

(7) The following sanctions for breaches of prison discipline are prohibited:

( a) collective punishment;

( b) corporal punishment;

( c) placing in a restraint;

( d) any form of sensory deprivation;

( e) deprivation of sleep;

( f) deprivation of food or drink;

( g) reduction in, or denial of, normal prison diet;

( h) confinement in a special observation cell;

( i) placing in a cell or room without adequate light, heat or ventilation;

( j) a sanction of indeterminate duration;

( k) a sanction constituting cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.

(8) On the imposition of a sanction under this section, the governor shall explain in ordinary language to the prisoner concerned the content of section 14(1) and, if the sanction consists of or includes forfeiture of remission of portion of his or her sentence, of section 15(1) .


Modifications (not altering text):


References to “Human Rights Commission” or “the Equality Authority” construed (1.11.2014) by Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 (25/2014), s. 44(2), S.I. No. 449 of 2014.

Transfer of functions to Commission

44. ...

(2) References in any enactment or instrument under an enactment to the Human Rights Commission or the Equality Authority, as the case may be (howsoever described) shall be construed as references to the Commission save where other provision is made as respects the construction of the first-mentioned references by any enactment passed before the passing of this Act.