6th April 2011
The Minister for Justice last night published the latest report on the inspection of Mountjoy Prison by the Inspector of Prisons.
The report follows on from the previously published, 2009 Inspector of Prisons report on Mountjoy Prison, which included many recommendations to the Irish Prison Service by Judge Michael Reilly. The Inspector highlights in the current report how these recommendations have been handled since he made his initial report in 2009.
Among some of the most alarming issues in the report, was the fact that there were a number of incidents where prisoners suffered injuries and these were not addressed or investigated properly by the Gardai. The Inspector specifies:
'I will expect that as and from the 1st July 2011 all prisoners’ complaints will be dealt with in accordance with best practice, that proper records will be maintained, that the procedure for dealing with complaints will be transparent and that I will not find deficiencies in the system.' (Paragraph 3.26)
He highlights how overcrowding is a serious issue in Mountjoy and that the prison population should be capped at a maximum of 600 at any one time. On the 8th of March 2011, the Inspector states that Mountjoy was holding 710 prisoners, which is 137% of its bed capacity. (Paragraph 2.8, 2.9)
The Inspector did report, however, that a number of improvements have been made in Mountjoy Prison in recent times including the refurbishments of the prison which will see in-cell sanitation in 65 cells. He recommends that this be rolled out to all cells in the prison in due course.