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The Irish Times: Grim chapter in criminal justice ends as St Patrick’s closes

7th April 2017

Mark Hilliard wrote that a Grim chapter in criminal justice ends as St Patrick’s closes in today's Irish Times. On Friday 7th April 2017 the Minister for Justice and Equality, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald TD closed St. Patrick’s Institution.

In 1985 the Whitaker Committee’s report on the Irish penal system said St Patrick’s should close. Other critics of St. Patrick's mentioned in the article have been the Council of Europe, Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the Inspector of Prisons, the Ombudsman for Children, and the Special Rapporteur for Child Protection.

IPRT has campaigned on St Patrick’s since 1994, focusing on the imprisonment of 16 and 17-year-olds alongside, although separated from, adults (aged 18 and over). The prison experienced recidivism rates of above 70%.

IPRT's Acting Executive Director, Fíona Ní Chinnéide, is quoted in the article as saying:

“It is 32 years since the Whitaker report first recommended the closure of this prison.

“It’s hugely symbolic in terms of how Ireland responds to children who offend. St Patrick’s Institution was unfit for any prisoner, let alone children.”

To read the article, click here.