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Our prisons are not the place for people who are mentally ill - Mark Ward TD

25 November, 2020 - by Mark Ward TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called for immediate government action after a report by The Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture found that high support units at Cloverhill, Cork and Mountjoy prisons, which accommodate mentally ill prisoners, are offering poor conditions and inadequate treatment.

Teachta Ward said:

“Reading parts of this report, you may be forgiven to think you were reading about prisons in Ireland 100 years ago. The fact is that The Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture only visited Irish prisons this year.

“One mentally unwell man was found lying naked in his cell which was smeared with faeces, with puddles of urine on the floor and a urine soaked poncho for cover.

“The Committee found that the conditions this man and another man were held in were inhumane and the treatment they received was degrading.

“Our prisons are not the place for people who are mentally ill and it should not take an inspection by a European Committee to highlight this.

“I am joining the Irish Penal Reform Trust in calling on the Minister for Justice to engage with the Minister for Health with a view to the early establishment of a task-force to resolve this matter."

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