Prisoners are encouraged and facilitated to develop and maintain life skills and assume personal responsibility while in prison.
Developing life skills in prison is an important aspect of prisoner rehabilitation. Research has found that the development of life skills such as recognition, interpretation, reflection, response and planning help prisoners in everyday life and is essential to rehabilitation. 
The Irish Prison Service has recommended expanding Independent Living Skills Units (ILSU) across the prison estate.  The purpose of ILSUs is to replicate community living in so far as possible within a closed prison regime.  ILSUs allow prisoners to develop skills such as preparing and cooking their own meals.
Indicator S18.1: The number of Independent Living Skills Units in the closed prison estate: There is an Independent Living Skills Unit in Wheatfield Prison and one in Midlands Prison. An ILSU is currently being developed in Mountjoy Prison, which is due to open later this year. 
Indicator S18.2: The number of prisoners across the closed prison estate who have access to communal dining: A total of 509 prisoners currently have access to communal dining: Loughan House (140); The Grove, Castlerea (55); Shelton Abbey (115); Independent Living Skills Unit, Midlands (38); Wheatfield (31) and Dóchas Centre (130). 
Units of Therapy and Education (UTE) have been successful in reducing re-offending in Spain. Prison officers and prisoners work together with therapeutic professionals to construct a goal-oriented environment.  The Committee on Justice and Equality (2018) recommended this approach stating: “The Villabona project in Spain may be instructive in this regard, using an alternative model that immerses prisoners in an educational environment that teaches skills and, importantly, values such as empathy and kindness. ”
|Action 18.1:||The Irish Prison Service should increase the number of Independent Living Skills Units across the estate, increase the number of prisoners having access to communal dining, and advance technological developments that support learning, access to services and reintegration.|
Jolley, M (2017) ‘Rehabilitating prisoners: the place of basic life skills programmes’, Safer Communities, 17(1), pp. 1–10
Gallagher, C (2018) ‘Life-sentence prisoners should get in-cell telephones’, Irish Times, 7th June 2018 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/life-sentence-prisoners-should-get-in-cell-telephones-1.3521700
Kildarestreet.com, Prison Accommodation Provision, Parliamentary Question 304, 11th July 2017 https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2017-07-11a.753
Information provided by the Irish Prison Service on an IPRT visit to the Progression Unit, Mountjoy Prison, 18th May 2018.
Information provided by the Irish Prison Service to IPRT on 18th September 2018.
IPRT, A Values Based Prison System: Spanish Delegate Visits Wheatfield Prison, 3rd April 2012 http://www.iprt.ie/contents/2310
Houses of the Oireachtas, Joint Committee on Justice and Equality, Report on Penal Reform and Sentencing, Recommendation 15, p. 56 https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/committee/dail/32/joint_committee_on_justice_and_equality/reports/2018/2018-05-10_report-on-penal-reform-and-sentencing_en.pdf