The Cork News published an article today on the conditions that were highlighted in the Council of Europe report focusing on Cork Prison.
The article highlights: Prisoners are being forced to use plastic bags as toilets while sharing a cell with up to two people, while concerns have been expressed about the prison’s health care service and visiting area along with allegations of verbal abuse and assault by members of staff.
Liam Herrick talked to The Cork News about conditions in the prison:
“The overcrowding in Cork Prison is perhaps worse than any other facility and it’s an ongoing problem,” the IPRT’s Executive Director, Liam Herrick, told the Cork News. “Cork should only be housing 146 prisoners but regularly has over 300 prisoners in it. Cells that should only have one man on occasion have three - which forces prisoners to sleep on the floor - and none of the cells have proper sanitation. The combination of those two circumstances means conditions in Cork are arguably the worst in the country.”
The article also highlighted Mr.Herrick's opinion that prison reform in Cork would have many benefits:
“The biggest problem is overcrowding and if you reduce the numbers in the system, you could actually save money. This is not solely about resources; if there was a proper penal policy in place, you could save money as fewer people would be jailed for less serious offences. It’s not feasible to extend Cork Prison on the current site so, for now, there just has to be fewer prisoners in it."
“There needs to be a prison building programme which is realistic and that prioritises replacing the unacceptable conditions in Cork and in Mountjoy. It can surely be done at a much more reasonable cost these days.”
- Read the full article here.