UK report finds thousands of 'super-prolific' criminals spared jail last year

The report - written by Tory MP Neil O'Brien - calls for prolific offenders to be jailed and to receive longer sentences, and recommends a review of sentencing of prolific offenders.

More

Overcrowded prisons: Major challenge

Last week’s verdict in the Ana Kriegel murder case will bring new challenges to a prison system already dealing with overcrowding.

MORE

Call for numbers being sentenced to prison to be 'urgently reduced'

The number of people being sentenced to prison – in the main for relatively short sentences – needs to be “urgently reduced” before overcrowding levels become “unsustainable”, penal reformers have said.

MORE

People on bail commit 11% of all crimes

More than one in nine of all crimes recorded last year — including one in seven of all murder and manslaughter cases — are believed to have been committed by individuals on bail.

MORE

High voter turnout among prisoners around the country

There was a far greater turnout by voters registered to vote at Mountjoy prison in the recent European and local elections than in some of the surrounding areas outside the prison in Dublin.

MORE

Charlie Flanagan may boost prison watchdog

Charlie Flanagan, the justice minister, is considering requests by the Inspector of Prisons for extra resources, staffing, and powers.

MORE

Two senior prison staff face fraud investigations

The Irish Prison Service is investigating separate claims two senior staff members have been involved in fraudulently misappropriating State assets.

MORE

Time to end culture of Omerta in Irish prisons and ensure proper oversight before it is too late

Sources at every level within the Irish Prison Service have contacted the Irish Examiner over the years to express concerns, ranging from sexual harassment to malpractice in the investigation of deaths in custody, writes Michael Clifford

MORE

Five prisons have not undergone inspection in 10 years, says Inspector

Only one prison inspection report has been published in the last five years and no inspections have been conducted in five jails over the last 10 years, the Inspector of Prisons has said.

MORE

Prison authorities not giving 'sufficient attention' to circumstances around vulnerable inmate deaths

The Inspector of Prisons said it is repeating recommendations on the deaths of vulnerable inmates “over and over again” but that prison authorities do not appear to be taking steps to prevent such fatalities recurring.

MORE

Families campaign to ensure killers stay in prison

A group representing the families of murder and manslaughter victims has called on the Government to bring about changes that would mean killers are not eligible for parole until their minimum sentence has been served.

MORE

Report into surveillance in prisons due out soon

A heavily redacted report into covert surveillance in prisons is to be published in the coming days.

MORE

Michael Clifford: Keeping a close eye on Flanagan’s next move

The ‘Irish Examiner’ last year published claims about covert surveillance in prisons. A report was made — but will it be published and followed up on, asks Michael Clifford.

MORE

State hit with €5m compo bill for TB outbreak in prison

The State will have to pay the bulk of a €5m compensation payout following claims from 100 prison officers and prisoners infected by tuberculosis in a major outbreak at a prison.

MORE

Prisoner monitoring duties now ‘crystal clear’ to staff and managers

It is now “crystal clear” to prison staff and managers that the failure to monitor vulnerable inmates will result in dismissal, the head of the Irish Prison Service has said.

MORE

Call for prison staff to be trained to deradicalise extremists

Prison chiefs are keeping a “watching brief” on the possible emergence of jihadist extremism in Irish jails.

MORE

Prison officers using 'only bare hands and courage' to combat drones

Prison officers are being sent out “with only our bare hands and courage” to intercept the delivery of contraband into exercise yards according to the general secretary of the Prison Officers Association.

MORE

Charlie Flanagan concerned over content of prison surveillance report

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has said he is concerned at the “contents” of a report by the Inspector of Prisons into allegations of illegal surveillance of prison officers.

MORE

Bid to tackle use of drones in jails

Prison bosses are to trial a new technology to tackle the rising threat posed by drones smuggling drugs and weapons into prison.

MORE

Prison overcrowding allows bullies to thrive, conference hears

The return of overcrowding in Irish prisons is creating an atmosphere for the “bully to thrive” and to pressurise vulnerable inmates to smuggle drugs and weapons, according to prison officers.

MORE

Surge in prisoners on special protection

There has been a surge in the number of prisoners put on protection for their own safety, with the sharpest rises in Mountjoy Prison and Cloverhill Remand Prison.

MORE

Minister expresses ‘grave concern’ over prison deaths in internal correspondence

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has expressed “grave concern” at the handling of deaths in prisons, according to internal prison service correspondence seen by the Irish Examiner.

MORE

Family of man who died in prison distressed over two aspects of case

Does David Blackwell’s death point to a bigger issue around deaths in Irish prisons, asks Special Correspondent Michael Clifford

MORE

Rise in inmates puts jails under pressure

The number of people in prison is increasing sharply, placing pressure on the bulk of jails with many near or above operating capacity.

MORE

Claim prison officers stole items to sell online

Claims that prison officers are stealing materials to sell on the internet and using other prison items to renovate their homes are being sent to the Garda Commissioner by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

MORE

Cost of prisoner's stay in custody stands at €68k a year, TDs told

The public spending €68,000 a year to keep a prisoner in jail due to shelter, heating, food and recreational costs, a senior Government official has confirmed.

MORE

Sentencing someone to year in jail costs public at least €68,000

Sentencing someone to a year in jail costs the public at least €68,000 a year, a senior Government official has confirmed.

MORE

Ireland tops lead table for those serving life sentences in prison

Ireland is near the top of the table of 47 European nations for the number of life sentence inmates in prison.

MORE

Ireland third highest in Europe for 'lifers' in prisons; Northern Ireland first

Ireland is near the top of the table of 47 European nations for the number of life sentence inmates in prison.

MORE

Legal changes slash jailings for fines

The number of people being sent to prison has halved in the last three years due to a massive reduction in the jailing of fine defaulters.

MORE

Massive reduction in the jailing of fine defaulters welcomed

Penal reformers have welcomed the massive drop in people being jailed for non-payment of court fines — but are concerned at the rise in prison numbers caused by more committals for non-fine offences.

MORE

Fine jail terms disappear: Reform works

For many decades, people were sent to prison, no matter how briefly, over the non-payment of fines.

MORE

State paid almost €9m in legal fees and compensation due to assaults in prisons

The State has paid out almost €9m in compensation and legal fees to staff and prisoners due to assaults and "slopping out" practices - including €100,000 to two families whose relatives died from "self-inflicted" wounds.

MORE

Parole system not fit for purpose, says FF TD

He wants tougher restrictions on released prisoners.

MORE

Prisons seek to ease fears over backlog of sex offenders for treatment programme

The Irish Prison Service has sought to ease fears of a backlog of sex offenders waiting to enter its tailored treatment programme following criticism from a visiting committee at one of the country's main jails.

MORE

‘Inappropriate relationships’ between staff and prisoners

An official report has highlighted allegations of “inappropriate relationships” between some female inmates at Dóchas women’s prison and a number of male staff.

MORE

Two deaths in 10 days at Midlands Prison

Two deaths of inmates have occurred in the last 10 days in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise.

MORE

Prison service is eager to stop any uncomfortable truths from seeing the light of day

The official Prison Service line is that whistleblowers are welcomed, but the reality on the ground is very different, says Special Correspondent Michael Clifford.

MORE

Cork Prison overcrowding blamed on building work at Limerick jail

Regular overcrowding at the new Cork prison has been blamed on the ongoing construction work at Limerick prison.

MORE

Prison officer still not contacted in ‘urgent’ inquiry

The prison officer who made claims about covert surveillance in the Irish Prison Service has still not been contacted nearly two months after the justice minister ordered an “urgent” inquiry into the matter.

MORE

Prison managers challenge service on ‘scapegoating’

Three prison managers who believe they were scapegoated following a walkout by 15 prison officers from a dangerous unit of Portlaoise Prison are challenging how the Irish Prison Service dealt with them.

MORE

137 prisoners granted temporary release for Christmas

The percentage of prisoners getting Christmas TR this year, running at 4% of the prisoner population, is similar to last year and marks a decrease on the previous two years.

MORE

68 prisoners in Northern Ireland granted home leave for Christmas

Some 128 prisoners applied for home leave, with 60 inmates refused permission.

MORE

The violent history of brutal and intrusive procedures

Force feeding of people on hunger strike for political reasons was precipitated by the actions of some suffragettes, writes Meadhbh Murphy, UCD Archives

MORE

Investigation launched into allegations of prison surveillance

A Garda investigation has been launched into allegations surrounding the Irish Prison Service.

MORE

Officer raises concern over jail deaths

A prison officer who made explosive claims about covert surveillance in the country’s jails has also raised concerns about how deaths in prisons are dealt with.

MORE

Justice Minister orders investigation into allegations of surveillance in prisons

The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has sought an investigation into allegations surrounding surveillance in prisons.

MORE

Whistleblower: Tracking devices placed in prison officers’ cars

Tracking devices have been placed on prison officers’ cars and conversations between solicitors and prisoners have been monitored during covert surveillance on the country’s prisons.

MORE

Prison Service whistleblower analysis: Is it ever legitimate to put an employee under surveillance?

A serving prison officer claims covert surveillance, including tracking devices on vehicles and listening tools in visiting areas, is being used in an effort to detect the smuggling of contraband into prisons, writes Michael Clifford.

MORE

Prison service whistleblower felt he had nowhere else to go

The Public Accounts Committee will today hear from another public servant who feels victimised after making a complaint, writes Michael Clifford.

MORE

South Dakota executes inmate who killed prison guard

Rodney Berget joked moments before he received a lethal injection.

MORE

Ireland’s prison staff 'has an average of 15.7 sick days' a year

Ireland’s prison staff take an average of over 15 days sick leave a year.

MORE

Family of Scottish prisoner who killed herself after ‘bullying’ launch reform campaign

Katie Allan had reported feeling distressed about her treatment while in Polmont Young Offenders Institution.

MORE

Violence in UK prisons hits new record high

New statistics show assault and self-harm incidents behind bars have increased by 20%.

MORE

Letters to Parole Board from victim's families show 'enormous pain and suffering'

Family members of murdered loved ones and victims of serious crimes reveal “enormous pain and suffering” in letters they send to the State body charged with releasing prisoners.

MORE

Dundon gang boss costing tax-payer €2,000 a week to imprison; Graham Dwyer over €1,000

It is costing the tax-payer almost €2,000 a week to incarcerate the murderous gang boss, John Dundon (36) along with the dwindling numbers of subversive prisoners at the maximum security Portlaoise prison.

MORE

Intolerable dishonesty: ‘Misleading’ prison records

Prison service chief Michael Donnellan has warned, all too plausibly, of the “huge pressure” generated by drugs-related gangs and the need to segregate inmates.

MORE

Prison Service: Up to 14 major gangs operating in Irish jails

The Irish Prison Service says up to 14 major gangs are operating in the country's jails.

MORE

Portlaoise Prison Wing C on lockdown

An entire wing of a top security prison remains on lock down due to safety concerns of officers.

MORE

The duty of care to officers seems a foggy concept to the Irish Prison Service

The Prison Officers Association now has to decide if it is safe for its members to work as civilians in State-sponsored jails, writes John Cuffe.

MORE