Prison officers speak out on overcrowded jails

Overcrowding remains a major issue in Irish prisons, it was claimed today.

The Prison Officers’ Association (POA) says inmates can no longer be housed in 19th-century conditions.

Speaking out before the opening of the association’s annual delegate conference in Kilkenny, POA president Jim Mitchell said having too many inmates caused most problems for prison officers and most risk for prisoners.

“Cork prison, for example, houses 100% more prisoners than it should – and this is totally unacceptable and creates risks for all the parties involved,” he said.

“There is also serious overcrowding in Mountjoy, where the ’bed capacity’ is constantly changing as management continue to play around with the figures. I know for certain that Mountjoy is not designed to hold 600 prisoners, which it was housing in a recent assessment by the POA”.

Justice Minister Brian Lenihan will address delegates at the POA conference in the Lyrath Hotel tonight.

Mr Mitchell will later deliver his opening speech, in which he is expected to address his concerns to delegates.

“Overcrowding creates competition for limited resources, higher suicide rates, aggression between inmates, higher rates of illness and infectious diseases among prisoners – and a provides a virtual training ground for bullying and victimisation of vulnerable prisoners,” Mr Mitchell added.

“We speak in terms of rehabilitation for the prison population – but if we are to be really serious about rehabilitation – we should house prisoners in 21st and not 19th-century conditions.”


More in this Section

NI mother prosecuted for buying abortion pills for teen daughter is formally acquittedNI mother prosecuted for buying abortion pills for teen daughter is formally acquitted

Trolley watch figure rises above 550Trolley watch figure rises above 550

Boy, 11, whose service dog won award now fighting cancerBoy, 11, whose service dog won award now fighting cancer

Report reveals rise in number of young children suffering from anorexiaReport reveals rise in number of young children suffering from anorexia


Lifestyle

Steak night just got zingy.How to make Antoni Porowski’s hanger steak with charred limes, fresh chillies and herbs

Seasonal affective disorder is a lot more complex than just mourning the end of summer and being a bit glum. Liz Connor finds out more.Could your winter blues be something more serious? What to do if you’re worried about SAD

Ideal for a quick mid-week meal, eaten in front of Netflix, of course.How to make Antoni Porowski’s cauliflower steaks with turmeric and crunchy almonds

Lacemakers in Limerick want to preserve their unique craft for future generations and hope to gain UNESCO heritage status, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Made in Munster: Lace-making a labour of love rather than laborious industry

More From The Irish Examiner