Dangerous prisons - Failures compounded

SOME of our jails are overcrowded to such an extent that Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons, has warned that someone will be killed or seriously injured in Mountjoy unless inmate numbers are reduced to 540.

At the moment there are over 600 men incarcerated at the facility. One inspection discovered 680.

Prison represents a failure of society and the failure of an individual but those failures are compounded when society fails those it imprisons.

Prison is a place of punishment but that does not mean that it can be inhuman or cruel. We owe it to ourselves and to the prisoners to keep them in places that represent society’s verdict but that also offer some chance of redemption.

Plainly we are not doing that and, equally plainly, we will pay the consequences.


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