O’Brien welcomes proposed changes at Cork Prison
Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien has today welcomed the publication of a report on Cork Prison by the Irish Prison Service (IPS) in which a range of proposals are put forward to end overcrowding.
The Cork North Central TD said;
“I welcome the report from the Irish Prison Service and its proposals to end the chronic overcrowding as well as the practice of slopping out in Cork Prison. I also welcome the announcement from the Minister for Justice that he will proceed with the implementation of a strategy to address these issues.
“While the construction of a new prison to accommodate up to 250 prisoners alongside the existing prison is something that should be explored, there should be just as much emphasis placed on the issue of sentence management and structured release of prisoners.
“I have consistently called for this to be addressed by the Minister. In December, the minister said in response to a question tabled by Sinn Féin that he could not “be specific on the funding for use in respect of Cork prison.”
“Clearly the minister needs to review the Capital Allocation in the Justice Budget for the Irish Prison Service. His announcement that he will examine upgrading the facilities in Cork Prison will be meaningless unless he provides the funds needed to do this.
“Furthermore, the Minister needs to state his plans to address the accommodation issues for female prisoners in Munster.
“The conditions in Cork Prison are Victorian and in breach of prisoner’s rights within the prison. It is not adequate for the minister to simply welcome the IPS report without actually stating in concrete terms the actions that he is going to take on the back of it. I will continue to question him on this matter.”