Problems in St Pat’s

The lid on St Patrick’s Institution for young male offenders (17-21) is creaking open and it ain’t looking pretty.

St Patrick’s Institution in Dublin

Figures I got from the Prison Service and published in the Irish Examiner show that a third of all assaults by prisoners on other prisoners across the entire prison system occur in St Pats (see table below). And it accounts for 30% of all assaults on prison staff.

This is despite the fact that St Pat’s comprises less than 5% of the average daily population in the prison system.

The lid on St Pat’s will be pulled back wide when a long awaited report from the Inspector of Prisons is published – at the end of this month according to the Department of Justice (which still decides when the independent inspector’s reports are published).

See links to my reports…

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/young-offenders-prison-is-nations-most-violent-jail-208202.html

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/concern-over-violence-in-st-patricks-208156.html

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/call-to-remove-17-year-olds-from-st-patricks-over-violence-208358.html

I also did an interview on RTE’s Drivetime on 20.9.12 on this.

Statement by the Irish Prison Service(20.9.12)

No level of inter prisoner violence is acceptable.  Every effort is made by prison staff and management to limit the scope of acts of violence.  However, no regime can completely eliminate the possibility of violent incidents happening in a prison setting where a large number of dangerous and violent offenders are being held.

Moreover, attacks by prisoners on prisoners are not usually random acts of violence – they are related to matters on the outside such as drug debts, gang rivalry, etc.  The Irish Prison Service have also successfully introduced a number of measures across the prison estate such as, handheld metal detectors, netting over prison yards, Boss chairs and security screening machines to detect and prevent weapons from entering the prison to limit the scope of acts of violence.

Prison

Prisoner on prisoner Assaults per Governor 2010

Prisoner assaults on Staff per Governor 2010

Prisoner on prisoner Assaults per Governor 2011

Prisoner assaults on Staff per Governor 2011

Arbour Hill

0

0

1

0

Castlerea

77

4

68

10

Cloverhill

118

14

138

6

Cork

82

7

80

10

Dóchas Centre

26

12

20

2

Limerick

101

11

66

12

Loughan House

2

1

2

2

Midlands

80

12

94

19

Mountjoy (Male)

117

37

141

36

St. Patrick’s Institution

323

38

367

48

Portlaoise

14

6

17

2

Shelton Abbey

0

0

0

0

Training Unit

1

0

0

0

Wheatfield

73

7

117

12

PSEC

Not Recorded

Not recorded

4

0

Total

1014

149

1115

159

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About Cormac O'Keeffe

I am writing my first novel. It's a crime novel, a thriller set in Dublin's gangland, along the evocative Grand Canal. This blog is about my journey. And other things, like fiction reviews and non-fiction reviews, many of them published in the Irish Examiner, a daily national newspaper in Ireland. I work as crime and drugs reporter there, and have been since around 2001. Both my personal life and my professional life have fed into my novel, or, rather, have poured into it. My novel was granted a literature bursary by the Irish Arts Council in September 2014 and my journalistic work has won multiple awards from the Law Society of Ireland over many years, most recently in 2015.
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