IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Latest prisoner numbers: 7th December 2009.

11th December 2009

Another record high for numbers in custody in Ireland: 4,051 on 7th December 2009. This number does not include 775 prisoners (15.5%) who were out on temporary release. 

Over the past 12 months, the total number of persons in custody has increased by 379; this is a 10% increase in the number in custody.

In Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, where 'slopping out' continues, prisoners had to share with two others (9 cells), three others (7 cells), and four or more others (5 cells).

There were 647 prisoners in Mountjoy on 4th December 2009; the Inspector of Prisons stated in his Annual Report (published May 2009) that 489 is the maximum number that can be reasonably accommodated in the prison. In February 2009, when numbers in the prison reached 660, the Inspector was so concerned as to write to the Minister expressing his "serious concern for safety or life."

On 7th December 2009, there were 203 held in St Patrick's Institution. This includes 49 children, aged 16 and 17, whose imprisonment is in breach of international human rights standards.

It is intended that 16-17 year old boys will be transferred from St Patrick's to the new National Children Detention Facility when it is completed; however, the new facility is not likely to be completed until the end of 2012.

For more information, contact Fíona Ní Chinnéide, IPRT Campaigns & Communications Officer.

T: +353 (0) 1 874 1400; E: communications@iprt.ie

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