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Irish Examiner: ‘Difficulty’ over Central Mental Hospital beds for prisoners

11th June 2011

An Irish Prison Service spokesman has highlighted how there is a difficulty in accessing beds for prisoners in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH), according to an article in the Irish Examiner

The statement came in response to Judge Michael Reilly's, the Inspector of Prisons' report on prison health, which outlined an incident in which a "man crawled in cell covered in his own excrement". The man had not been transferred to the CMH because there were no beds available. 

The IPS spokesman said "there continues to be difficulty in accessing admission beds for prisoners who have been clinically determined as requiring an admission to the CMH."

The article reports that new legislation, the Criminal Law Insanity Act, will allow the CMH to discharge patients into community settings and therefore free up places for prisoners who are being transferred.

The article highlights:

The Irish Penal Reform Trust said the details given by the inspector of the prisoner’s treatment were "particularly shocking" and added: "This issue is the subject of an ongoing legal challenge by IPRT to the treatment of mentally ill prisoners which dates back more than a decade."

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