How a Small Advocacy Organization Advanced Big Reforms: The Irish Penal Reform Trust

Resource type: Case Study

Susan Parker |

This case study describes how the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT), a small organization with limited resources, successfully implemented an advocacy strategy that led the Irish government to take steps to improve conditions and reduce overcrowding in the country’s prisons.

Before IPRT began its advocacy efforts, the subject of prisoners’ rights was unpopular in Ireland. To help persuade policymakers of the need to make changes, IPRT produced research on less costly alternatives to incarceration, built alliances with government and prison officials, and created awareness of what could be achieved through penal reform.

Beginning with the group’s genesis, the case study details IPRT’s:

  • Approach to generating useful research and training advocates
  • Key accomplishments and influence in the penal reform field
  • Challenges and its lessons learned.

> Read the case study (PDF)

> Read the one page summary (PDF)

This case study was commissioned by The Atlantic Philanthropies. The Irish Penal Reform Trust is an Atlantic grantee.