Investigation after inmate locked outside in Cork Prison exercise yard overnight

Investigation after inmate locked outside in Cork Prison exercise yard overnight

The Irish Prison Service has launched an investigation into circumstances behind an inmate being locked outside in an exercise yard overnight at the new Cork Prison, writes Kevin O’Neill.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service said that operating procedures had been changed since the incident.

The inmate, in his 20s, was locked into a small exercise yard at the recently opened €45m prison for more than 12 hours and tried desperately to get the attention of staff to get back inside the jail.

The incident occurred in early March despite the fact that the hi-tech prison, which opened in January, boasts more than 300 CCTV cameras.

The inmate’s ordeal was captured on CCTV cameras.

He can be seen doing star-jumps and jogging to stave off the cold overnight, as well as spending several hours shouting for help.

The ultra-secure nature of the prison complex meant he was not heard until the early hours of the morning when prison staff began their morning head count and discovered the discrepancy.

The young man was brought back to his cell at 7am.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service, said: “Following the initial investigation, a number of changes to standard operating procedures have been made to ensure a repeat of the incident does not occur.”

A source at the prison said that the yard in question is a smaller exercise yard in an area which is not overlooked by cells.

Prior to the incident, it was not monitored at night as there are typically no prisoners in the area.

Monitoring of cameras was instead focused on external areas.

This story first appeared in the Evening Echo.


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