UN hearing to examine lack of mental health services in Irish prisons

A lack of mental health services in Irish prisons is being raised at the UN in Geneva today.

The Irish Penal Reform Trust is one of a group of Irish NGO's attending a two-day hearing, where Ireland's record is being examined by the UN Committee Against Torture.

The Trust's acting executive director, Fíona Ní Chinnéide says the inappropriate use of our prisons to hold people with mental health illnesses is one of the most critical problems within the Irish Prison Service.

"A key issue we have been raising in advance of this hearing is the high number of people with mental health issues in prisons in Ireland," she said.

"Prison is a completely inappropriate environment for people with serious mental illness.

"We are particularly concerned that people with acute psychiatric illnesses are being held in solitary confinement for long periods. There can be no good outcome from this."

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