Inspector of Prisons: Report on an Inspection of St Patrick's Institution for Young Offenders
17th October 2012
The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, has published a report on an inspection of St Patrick's Institution for Young Offenders, by the Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly.
Many serious issues are detailed in the report, including:
- Forced stripping and clothes being cut from boys and young men when
being held in Special Cells. The Inspector refers to the fact that this
is especially serious where many of the prisoners in St. Patrick’s may
have previously been the victims of physical and/or sexual abuse.
- Inappropriate and excessive use of Special Cells in violation of the Irish Prison Service’s own guidelines and rules.
- Excessive and unrecorded use of force by staff against prisoners, in
violation of the Irish Prison Service’s own guidelines and rules;
disproportionate number of under-18s being relocated using control and
restraint (C&R) techniques.
- Excessive and unauthorised punishment of prisoners, including
denying children family visits or phone calls. The Inspector also found
practices of undocumented “isolation” of a number of prisoners in
solitary confinement for 56 days following an incident at the prison.
- Bullying and intimidation of young and vulnerable inmates by some
staff, and indifference to concerns of inmates, including emergency
calls for help. The report records a number of prisoners who were
experiencing severe distress and who were afraid to communicate what had
happened to them.
- A completely deficient complaints system where no complaint by a
prisoner was upheld, even where prison management had acknowledged that
staff had behaved inappropriately. A study of some cases suggested
widespread intimidation of prisoners wishing to make a complaint.
- At a general level, the Inspector also found serious deficiencies in
attendance at school, access to healthcare and the availability of
training. He also found many parts of the prison cold and dirty.
The report can be downloaded here.