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Irish Examiner: 'Committee on torture blasts ‘degrading’ Irish prison conditions'

11th February 2011

The Irish Examiner reports on the findings of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Punishment or Treatment (CPT) on its most recent visit to inspect places of detention in Ireland.

Across three articles and an editorial, the paper focuses on different aspects of the report which highlights "degrading" and "debasing" conditions in many prisons, which are a direct result of tremendous overcrowding.

"It is unlikely that any election candidate will make much of either of these issues because they know if we were serious about resolving them, or if we really cared, they would have been dealt with long ago." 

The report also highlighted that sending people to prison for sentences of six months doesn’t seem to work and that community service options should be used to ease the worsening overcrowding levels in prisons.

The Examiner also reports that Brian Purcell, Director General of the Irish Prison Service, rejects IPRT's claims that the prison system is in crisis or unsafe, citing the construction of nearly 2,000 extra prison places in the last 14 years, and the positive reports from the CPT on conditions at Midlands Prison, St Patrick’s and the newer blocks at Portlaoise Prison.

Mr Purcell welcomed CPT comments that most inmates felt they were treated correctly.

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