Between 2007 and 2011, the average number of prisoners in custody rose by approximately one third. This has, of course, in turn increased the pressure on an already stretched prison system.
While improvements are undoubtedly being made and are cause for optimism, particularly in Mountjoy Prison, IPRT believes there is still much to be done throughout the prison estate.
Overcrowding, poor conditions, violence, drugs, and a lack of constructive activity are still major obstacles faced in Ireland's prisons. It is important to see these not as individual issues, but rather as inextricably linked parts of a bigger picture.
In a series running for the week of 19-26 January 2013, The Irish Times examined Ireland’s prisons, the problems they face, and what positive changes are being made. Crime Correspondent Conor Lally reports, with additional reporting by Dan Griffin. The final piece in the series was an opinion piece by Ian O'Donnell, professor of criminology at University College Dublin.
Read The Irish Times articles here:
- Day 1: Why our jails fail
- Day 2: Notorious no more? Mountjoy project template for humane, safe jail system
- Day 3: Violence inside: a growing problem in Irish prisons
- Day 3: 'I ended up stabbing a fella, dragged him into the cell; they couldn't catch me for it'
- Day 4: Open-minded Finland offers successful alternative to heavy-handed retribution
- Day 4: Where prison is seen as last resort of justice system
- Day 5: Shifting from punishment towards care
- Day 6: Prisoners left to fend for themselves when faced with life on the outside
- Day 6: Life after jail: 'I've never felt so exposed'
- Day 6: Jail time: The fallout for prisoners' families
- Day 7: Opinion: Surge in prison population requires remedial action