All youths sentenced to St Pat’s moved

All young people sentenced to St Patrick’s Institution have been transferred out of the detention facility — which has been dogged by controversy and scandal.

There are only five 17-year-olds remaining in the institution, who are on remand there pending their trials.

They are due to be transferred to the new juvenile detention in Oberstown, north Dublin, which is currently being constructed.

The Irish Prison Service has said all 17-year-olds sentenced and serving terms in St Pat’s were transferred to a dedicated unit in Wheatfield Prison, now known as Wheatfield Place of Detention, on December 17 last.

Soon after, they began the process of transferring 18- 21-year-olds in St Pat’s to Wheatfield, where they are housed in a separate dedicated unit.

A Prison Service spokes- man confirmed that the final batch of 18 inmates in that age group were transferred last week.

He said there were now just five remand prisoners aged 17 in the institution. Legally, they cannot be transferred as they are remanded by the court to that particular institution.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter announced the closure of St Patrick’s last July after a damning report by the Inspector of Prisons.

Judge Michael Reilly said the prison should be shut down “forthwith” for health and safety reasons, warning the “safe and secure custody” of young offenders could no longer be guaranteed.

Prison Service director general Michael Donnellan put a plan in place to remove all 17-year-olds by the end of last December.

The Prison Service spokesman said Wheatfield had been renamed and was now a work and training “place of detention”.

All prisoners transferred to and remaining in Wheatfield are now required to sign a contract committing to their engagement in structured activities including work and training and education.

The spokesman said they were working closely with the Irish Youth Justice Service to ensure the timely transfer of juvenile remand prisoners to the new facility in Oberstown.

He said two complaints against prison officersfeatured in Judge Reilly’s report had been upheld on investigation and six had not.

Regarding the future use of St Patrick’s, the spokes- man said the D Wing had now been re-designated as part of Mountjoy Prison and has been renamed D West.

He said the Mountjoy D Wing had been closed to facilitate the ongoing refurbishment works there.

All prisoners previously housed on the Mountjoy D Wing have been relocated to other areas.


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