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Overcrowding in Limerick Prison must be addressed – O’Brien

13 March, 2012 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Speaking following the publication of the report by the Inspector of Prisons on Limerick Prison, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien said the report was to be welcomed, and while progress clearly has been made regarding certain issues such as cleaning and painting, other more serious issues have still not been addressed.

The Cork North Central TD said:

“The Inspector of Prisons published a report with recommendations back in November, and we welcome that some of them have been implemented such as cleaning, replacement of broken windows, and installation of new toilets.

“However there are serious deficiencies in Limerick Prison that remain outstanding – such as establishing a drug free support unit. The inspector explicitly states in his report that this has not happened due to the level of overcrowding in the prison. Overcrowding is endemic in Irish prisons, and the Minister for Justice must start implementing measures that will ensure non-custodial sentences are imposed where this is appropriate.

“There are far too many people in prisons that should not be there. If it is actually the minister’s intention to implement the Fines Act and introduce measures that will alleviate overcrowding, he must see to it as a matter of urgency.

“For those that remain in Limerick Prison the issue of no recreation areas and the lack of time prisoners spend in yards and recreation areas must be changed immediately. It is inhumane to simply lock prisoners away and not address the conditions they are forced to live in. It is a recipe for nothing but recidivism once they exit the prison system.”

ENDS

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