Overcrowding in Irish prisons is at chronic levels, and must be addressed urgently. Penal expansionism has failed in Ireland; new solutions are urgently needed.
Overcrowding is an exacerbating factor for other systemic problems such as poor cell conditions, poor regimes (limited education and meaningful activity among others) and inter-prisoner tension and violence.
The State has a duty to provide safe and humane custody for all prisoners; it is failing in this duty.
This short briefing document outlines the issue of chronic overcrowding in Irish prisons, including proposals for short-, medium- and long-term measures to be undertaken.
(Updated October 2011)
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