Irish Penal Reform Trust

RTÉ 'This Week': Imprisonment of boys in St. Patrick's Institution

15th January 2012

Reports suggest that "nobody deserves St Patrick's as it's currently configured," stated Colm Ó Mongáin on RTÉ's 'This Week' in an item which focused on the ongoing imprisonment of 16- and 17-year old boys in St Patrick's Institution.

Reporter Anne-Marie Green talked to: IPRT's Liam Herrick; child law expert Dr Ursula Kilkelly, Senior Lecturer at UCC and former chairperson of IPRT; and Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan about the issues. The wide-ranging piece also included the voices of parents visiting their sons in the prison, and sought clarification on the time-line for ending the practice from Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter.

Emily Logan gave voice to what is a fearful experience of the boys, while one mother spoke about how she has to talk to her son "who is not a hardened criminal" through a screen. The boy had not had access to a shower for his first 4 days in the prison, nor had he received a phone card and so had been unable to speak to his parents.

Listen back here.

Find out more:

IPRT has consistenly campaigned for an end to the imprisonment of children in Ireland, which is in breach of international human rights standards. Read the IPRT Briefing on the Detention of Children in St. Patrick's Institution here.

In 2011, the Ombudsman for Children's Office published its research study into the experience of under-18s in the prison, Young People in St. Patrick's Institution. Read more about this key report here.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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