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Irish Times: 'Shatter to use early releases to ease overcrowding'

11th November 2011

Writing in The Irish Times, Crime Correspondent Conor Lally reports on the shelving of prison building projects at Thornton Hall in Dublin and Kilworth in Cork, and the announcement by Minister for Justice and Defence, Alan Shatter that he will instead release prisoners early to ease overcrowding.

IPRT has strongly criticised the failure to address inhumane conditions in Cork Prison, but supports the Minister's plans to install in-cell sanitation in the B-wing of Mountjoy Prison, and also to use incentivised early release as a mechanism for safely reducing the prison population.

Liam Herrick is cited in the article:

“While the pledge to extend in-cell sanitation in Mountjoy’s B-wing is positive, there has been no action at all to address the chronic situation in Cork Prison, where more than 270 men in shared cells have to slop out.”

Meanwhile, writing in The Cork News, Maria Tracey reports that funding for the 200-cell prison in Kilworth will not be granted, "despite pledges by the Government to address the 'intolerable' conditions in Cork’s penal system." The article cites Liam Herrick's response to the budget announcements:

IPRT wholly agreed with the Review Group that ‘doing nothing’ is not an option, but the Government’s approach in Budget 2012 seems to be precisely to ‘do nothing’ in relation to Cork prison,” he said.

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