Irish Penal Reform Trust

Prison Visiting Committee Annual Reports 2009

22nd October 2010

The 2009 annual reports of the Prison Visiting Committees for Arbour Hill, Castlerea, Cloverhill, Cork, Dochas, Limerick, Loughan House, Midlands, Mountjoy, Portlaoise, Shelton Abbey, St. Patrick's Institution, the Training Unit and Wheatfield were published today.

View the reports here.

Among the concerns raised in the reports are:

  • Dóchas Centre: concerns raised about the availability of care within the prison for women with mental health issues, along with accommodation in areas not built for that purpose
  • St Patrick’s Institution: concerns raised that prisoners on protection are “cell by cell” with prisoners who are in that wing as punishment, citing escalating gang issues as creating a situation that “is becoming unmanageable.”
  • Mountjoy Prison: improvements to security acknowledged, but the regime remains largely the same. “Still chronically overcrowded, vermin-infested [...] filthy facilities, and no structured approach to the prisoner’s day.”
  • Cork Prison: the provision of mental health services cited as inadequate, and the reduction of psychology and counselling services a serious matter which should be urgently reviewed.
  • Limerick Prison: concerns raised by prisoners on access to medical services, and emphasises the need for in-cell sanitation to be extended to the A and B wings.

Read an overview of the Visiting Committee reports in The Irish Times (Sat, 23rd Oct 2010) here.

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

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