Irish Penal Reform Trust

Census Prison Population April 2017: Cell Occupancy and In-Cell Sanitation

1st June 2017

This report includes information on the numbers of usable cells in each institution; the number of cells that accommodated one, two, three and four or more prisoners; prisoners without access to in-cell sanitation; and prisoners who were required to use toilet facilities in the presence of others.

Highlighted in this census report is the fact that 56 people, in Limerick and Portlaoise prisons, are still slopping out - an increase of 7 people on January 2017 and 14 people on October 2016 and back to the same number as April 2016. 

1,539 people (41%) are still required to use toilet facilities in the presence of another person; this figure has continued to drop from April 2016 to April 2017, the highest being in the Midlands prison (448 people). In Shelton Abbey and the Midlands prison there are 74 people in cells of 4+ people. (Shelton Abbey is an open prison, therefore conditions are better.) This is a reduction of 33 on April 2016 and 13 on October 2016. There are 240 people in triple cells, with Cloverhill remand prison having the largest quantity at 192 people in 3-person cells. 

The key statistics from this section of the Census are:

  • There were 3,750 prisoners in custody;
  • 2,040 (54%) prisoners were accommodated in single cells;
  • 698 cells accommodated 2 prisoners (1,396 prisoners);
  • 80 cells accommodated 3 prisoners (240 prisoners);
  • 16 cells accommodated 4 or more prisoners (74 prisoners);
  • 56 prisoners (1%) were required to slop out;
  • 1,539 prisoners (41%) were required to use the toilet in the presence of another prisoner;
  • 2,155 (58%) prisoners were in a single cell with a flush toilet or had access to toilet facilities in private at all times;
  • 4 prisoners were accommodated in Safety Observation Cells;
  • 11 prisoners were accommodated in Close Supervision Cells.

Read the full findings of the census here.

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