The Inspector of Prisons recently undertook a general overview of Mountjoy Campus, with particular focus on the Separation Unit.
The Investigation identified the existence of deficiencies, bad practice, overcrowding and a lack of services in the Separation Unit of Mountjoy Prison. The Inspector noted that this was at odds with the recent refurbishment of the cells in the various wings in Mountjoy, which had been carried out to an extremely high standard.
The Investigation identified that the prisoners accommodated in the 31 cells of the Separation Unit were mostly ‘protection prisoners.’ The main deficiencies identified included:
- The non-use of the exercise yard;
- The use of screened visits;
- The non-existence of recreational amenities;
- The use of CCTV to monitor certain prisoners in a cell without their permission;
- The general disrepair and dirt of the Unit including rubbish on the floors and discarded mattresses.
The Inspector recommended that the Separation Unit should play no further part in the Irish Prison estate. The Inspector recommended that the closure of the Unit and the decommissioning of the building.
Following the publication of the Review, the Minister for Justice announced the closure of the Separation Unit of Mountjoy Prison on 14th September last. IPRT supports the decision of the Minister and is happy to see the recommendations of the Inspector being taken on board.
The full overview can be accessed here: wym-1411483798362