IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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The Irish Examiner: No prison visits on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day

19th December 2016

The Irish Prison Service said that no visits will be facilitated at any prison on Christmas Day this year, as it falls on a Sunday, when the facilities are usually closed to visitors.

A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service (IPS) said that:

Not having visits on Christmas Eve is borne out of our experience of visitors not wanting to attend the prison on that day”.

A survey by the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) found that approximately 6,000 children have a parent in prison in Ireland on any given day. It said that last year, 204 prisoners — approximately 5% of those serving time in Irish prisons — were granted temporary release for Christmas.

Fíona Ní Chinnéide, Deputy Executive Director of IPRT was quoted in the article as saying: “We would be concerned if there is any reduction in visiting hours, particularly at this time of year which is hard for those on the inside, but particularly so on their families and children on the outside”.

She further added that while the transfer to the new Cork Prison has seen an improvement in visiting conditions, IPRT is concerned that morning visits are no longer available to the families of inmates at the new facility.

To read the article, click here.