IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Ebulletin #33

30th April 2006

VOICES RISING - Volume 4, Number 4

***CANCELLED*** Thomas Mathiesen to give 2006 IPRT Annual Lecture

The IPRT is pleased to announce that our 2006 Annual Lecture will be delivered by Thomas Mathiesen, speaking on the topic "10 reasons for not building more prisons".

Thomas Mathiesen is Professor of Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo and has written extensively on prisons, criminology, law, mass media and social control.  His widely acclaimed works include Prison On Trial (1990, Third Edition 2006), The Defences of the Weak (1965), The Politics of Abolition (1974), Law, Society and Political Action (1980) and Silently Silenced: Essays on the Creation of Aquiensence in Modern Society (First English Edition, 2004).

In addition to his academic work, Prof. Mathiesen has taken an active part in the development of the Scandinavian prison movement.  He was a founding member of KROM - The Norwegian Association for Penal Reform - and served as the organisation's Chairman from 1968 to 1973. KROM organizes prisoners, ex-prisoners and non-prisoners in penal reform work, and has served as a model for similar organizational activities in several other countries.

The IPRT Annual Lecture will be held on Thursday 25 May at 6pm.  It is a free event open to both IPRT members and non-members.

The lecture will take place at European Union House, 42 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

IPRT 2006 Annual General Meeting

The IPRT's 2006 Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday May 25th at 4pm.  IPRT members will shortly receive details of the agenda and the venue.

Only IPRT members in good standing are eligible to participate and vote at the AGM. 

Oral Submission by the Irish Youth Justice Alliance on the Criminal Justice Bill

On March 28th, representatives of the Irish Youth Justice Allliance (IYJA) spoke before the Oireachtas Justice Committee to discuss our concerns about the new Criminal Justice Bill.

The IYFA was represented by Jillian van Turnhout of the Children's Rights Alliance and Dr. Ursula Kilkelly of the IPRT.

The text of the Youth Justice Alliance's oral submission is available here.

IPRT speaks at UCC

On April 1st, IPRT Executive Director Rick Lines gave a free public lecture at University College Cork on the topic "Living in the Past: The Americanization of the Irish prison system".   Also participating in the event and the questions and answers session was IPRT Board member, Dr. Ursula Kilkelly.

The lecture was held as part of the UCC Faculty of Law's Globalisation Seminar Series. Thanks to the great crowd that turned out for making the event such a success!

IPRT meets with Prison Reform Trust in London

On April 11th, IPRT Chair Claire Hamilton and Executive Director Rick Lines travelled to London, where they met with representatives of the Prison Reform Trust.

The meeting discussed the potential for expanded collaboration and information exchange between the two organisations, and looked to develop opportunities for joint advocacy.

IPRT speaks in Poland

On April 19th, IPRT Executive Director Rick Lines travelled to Warsaw where he addressed 200 delegates at the annual conference of the Polish Prison Medical Service.  Also speaking at the conference were representatives from the WHO.

Mr. Lines spoke on the topic "Prison Health and Public Health: Harm Reduction in Prison and European Human Rights Law".

While in Poland, Mr. Lines also had the opportunity to visit a Polish prison and meet with staff and officials.

Press release from the Ontario Government: "Central North Correctional Centre Transferring To Public Sector Operation: Private Jail Operation Contract Not Renewed"

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Central North Correctional Centre Transferring To Public Sector Operation

Private Jail Operation Contract Not Renewed  

QUEEN'S PARK, ON, April 27 /CNW/ - Ontario will transfer the operation of the Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene to the public sector, Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter announced today.  

"After five years, there has been no appreciable benefit from the private operation of the Central North Correctional Centre," said Kwinter. "We carefully studied its overall performance compared with the publicly operated Central East Correctional Centre in Kawartha Lakes, and concluded the CECC performed better in key areas such as security, health care and reducing re- offending rates. As a result, the government will allow the contract with the private operator to expire."

Management and Training Corporation Canada (MTCC) was chosen to operate the Central North Correctional Centre in May 2001 as part of a five-year pilot project. During that period, the Central East Correctional Centre - which is identical in design - opened as a publicly operated facility. The pilot project was to determine if there was any advantage to private operations of correctional services in Ontario.  

We acknowledge that MTCC was in material compliance with the contract," said Kwinter, "but the evidence clearly indicates that the public facility produced better results in key performance areas."  

The contract with MTCC ends on November 10, 2006. Over the next six months, the ministry will work with its partners, including MTCC and bargaining agents, to ensure a safe and smooth transition of CNCC's operations to the Ontario Public Service.  


Backgrounder -------------------------------------------------------------------------   FACILITY OVERVIEW:


The Central North Correctional Centre and Central East Correctional Centre are the same in size and design.      

-   1,184-bed multi-purpose correctional facilities, each consisting of      six pods of 192 beds each for male accommodations (1,152), and a     separate 32-bed female unit.      

-   Institutions include areas for rehabilitation, programming, medical treatment, food preparation, administration, and separate buildings for industrial work programs.      

-   Both facilities are built to maximum security standards.      

-   Each facility has video court suites to reduce the need for offender   transportation to and from court for very short court appearances.

-   Design is unique in Canada and features six inter-connected octagonal "pods." Each pod contains six living units, an enclosed exercise yard, and dedicated program and visiting area. Meals and health care services are brought to the living units to reduce inmate movement throughout the facility.      

-   Living units have 16 cells, each accommodating two offenders. This  design features clear and unobstructed sight lines between     correctional officers and cells and a small number of inmates per         housing unit. Each facility also has a 40-bed segregation unit.      

-   The separate female unit at each facility accommodates 32 inmates and is inaccessible to male offenders. Also included are separate         programming areas, a recreation yard, medical and segregation units   and their own admissions and discharge area.