IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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'New prisons need to be built' - 5 party responses

'Crime and Justice - New prisons need to be built' is one of 25 statements to which the 5 main parties were asked to respond on Votematch: votematch.tv3.ie

IPRT is strongly against any further expansion of places in the Irish prison estate, and we believe that proceeding with plans for a super-prison at Thornton Hall is ill-judged. However, the refurbishment or replacement of older, ill-suited accommodation with appropriate facilities, which include in-cell sanitation, is necessary.

The parties were given a choice of four responses to each statement:

  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Open-minded
  • (Skip)

So, here are the party responses to the statement 'New prisons need to be built', in alphabetical order:

Fianna Fáil - agree:
No further comment.

Fine Gael - disagree:
"€42 million has been spent on Thornton Hall and not even the perimeter wall has been built. We will not spend any more taxpayers money on new prisons until we use our existing resources efficiently – i.e. imprison violent offenders and use deduction of wage orders for fine defaulters."

Green Party - disagree:
"The Green Party is opposed to the building of a new prison at Thornton Hall. The Green Party believes that the Irish penal system is in dire need of reform at the most fundamental level. The recurring problems of recidivism, overcrowding and psychiatric issues need to be addressed immediately. We do not believe that building new prisons will effectively deal with these urgent issues."

Labour - agree:
No further comment. (Note: Labour was the only party to decide  not to take part in the quiz. However, the party provided information to help Vote Match complete the answers on their behalf; they also saw the answers before they went live.)

Sinn Féin - disagree:
"We are against expansion of prison system but not in favour of people living in substandard conditions."

TV3 teamed up with Unlock Democracy and University College Cork to produce Vote Match for this year’s General Election; it was fully funded by TV3 and a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd.

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