Prisoner monitoring duties now ‘crystal clear’ to staff and managers

It is now “crystal clear” to prison staff and managers that the failure to monitor vulnerable inmates will result in dismissal, the head of the Irish Prison Service has said.

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Call for prison staff to be trained to deradicalise extremists

Prison chiefs are keeping a “watching brief” on the possible emergence of jihadist extremism in Irish jails.

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Prison officers using 'only bare hands and courage' to combat drones

Prison officers are being sent out “with only our bare hands and courage” to intercept the delivery of contraband into exercise yards according to the general secretary of the Prison Officers Association.

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Charlie Flanagan concerned over content of prison surveillance report

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has said he is concerned at the “contents” of a report by the Inspector of Prisons into allegations of illegal surveillance of prison officers.

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Bid to tackle use of drones in jails

Prison bosses are to trial a new technology to tackle the rising threat posed by drones smuggling drugs and weapons into prison.

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Prison overcrowding allows bullies to thrive, conference hears

The return of overcrowding in Irish prisons is creating an atmosphere for the “bully to thrive” and to pressurise vulnerable inmates to smuggle drugs and weapons, according to prison officers.

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Surge in prisoners on special protection

There has been a surge in the number of prisoners put on protection for their own safety, with the sharpest rises in Mountjoy Prison and Cloverhill Remand Prison.

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Minister expresses ‘grave concern’ over prison deaths in internal correspondence

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has expressed “grave concern” at the handling of deaths in prisons, according to internal prison service correspondence seen by the Irish Examiner.

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Family of man who died in prison distressed over two aspects of case

Does David Blackwell’s death point to a bigger issue around deaths in Irish prisons, asks Special Correspondent Michael Clifford

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Rise in inmates puts jails under pressure

The number of people in prison is increasing sharply, placing pressure on the bulk of jails with many near or above operating capacity.

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Claim prison officers stole items to sell online

Claims that prison officers are stealing materials to sell on the internet and using other prison items to renovate their homes are being sent to the Garda Commissioner by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

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Cost of prisoner's stay in custody stands at €68k a year, TDs told

The public spending €68,000 a year to keep a prisoner in jail due to shelter, heating, food and recreational costs, a senior Government official has confirmed.

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Sentencing someone to year in jail costs public at least €68,000

Sentencing someone to a year in jail costs the public at least €68,000 a year, a senior Government official has confirmed.

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Ireland tops lead table for those serving life sentences in prison

Ireland is near the top of the table of 47 European nations for the number of life sentence inmates in prison.

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Ireland third highest in Europe for 'lifers' in prisons; Northern Ireland first

Ireland is near the top of the table of 47 European nations for the number of life sentence inmates in prison.

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Legal changes slash jailings for fines

The number of people being sent to prison has halved in the last three years due to a massive reduction in the jailing of fine defaulters.

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Massive reduction in the jailing of fine defaulters welcomed

Penal reformers have welcomed the massive drop in people being jailed for non-payment of court fines — but are concerned at the rise in prison numbers caused by more committals for non-fine offences.

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Fine jail terms disappear: Reform works

For many decades, people were sent to prison, no matter how briefly, over the non-payment of fines.

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State paid almost €9m in legal fees and compensation due to assaults in prisons

The State has paid out almost €9m in compensation and legal fees to staff and prisoners due to assaults and "slopping out" practices - including €100,000 to two families whose relatives died from "self-inflicted" wounds.

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Parole system not fit for purpose, says FF TD

He wants tougher restrictions on released prisoners.

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Prisons seek to ease fears over backlog of sex offenders for treatment programme

The Irish Prison Service has sought to ease fears of a backlog of sex offenders waiting to enter its tailored treatment programme following criticism from a visiting committee at one of the country's main jails.

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‘Inappropriate relationships’ between staff and prisoners

An official report has highlighted allegations of “inappropriate relationships” between some female inmates at Dóchas women’s prison and a number of male staff.

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Two deaths in 10 days at Midlands Prison

Two deaths of inmates have occurred in the last 10 days in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise.

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Prison service is eager to stop any uncomfortable truths from seeing the light of day

The official Prison Service line is that whistleblowers are welcomed, but the reality on the ground is very different, says Special Correspondent Michael Clifford.

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Cork Prison overcrowding blamed on building work at Limerick jail

Regular overcrowding at the new Cork prison has been blamed on the ongoing construction work at Limerick prison.

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Prison officer still not contacted in ‘urgent’ inquiry

The prison officer who made claims about covert surveillance in the Irish Prison Service has still not been contacted nearly two months after the justice minister ordered an “urgent” inquiry into the matter.

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Prison managers challenge service on ‘scapegoating’

Three prison managers who believe they were scapegoated following a walkout by 15 prison officers from a dangerous unit of Portlaoise Prison are challenging how the Irish Prison Service dealt with them.

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137 prisoners granted temporary release for Christmas

The percentage of prisoners getting Christmas TR this year, running at 4% of the prisoner population, is similar to last year and marks a decrease on the previous two years.

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68 prisoners in Northern Ireland granted home leave for Christmas

Some 128 prisoners applied for home leave, with 60 inmates refused permission.

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The violent history of brutal and intrusive procedures

Force feeding of people on hunger strike for political reasons was precipitated by the actions of some suffragettes, writes Meadhbh Murphy, UCD Archives

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Investigation launched into allegations of prison surveillance

A Garda investigation has been launched into allegations surrounding the Irish Prison Service.

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Officer raises concern over jail deaths

A prison officer who made explosive claims about covert surveillance in the country’s jails has also raised concerns about how deaths in prisons are dealt with.

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Justice Minister orders investigation into allegations of surveillance in prisons

The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has sought an investigation into allegations surrounding surveillance in prisons.

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Whistleblower: Tracking devices placed in prison officers’ cars

Tracking devices have been placed on prison officers’ cars and conversations between solicitors and prisoners have been monitored during covert surveillance on the country’s prisons.

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Prison Service whistleblower analysis: Is it ever legitimate to put an employee under surveillance?

A serving prison officer claims covert surveillance, including tracking devices on vehicles and listening tools in visiting areas, is being used in an effort to detect the smuggling of contraband into prisons, writes Michael Clifford.

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Prison service whistleblower felt he had nowhere else to go

The Public Accounts Committee will today hear from another public servant who feels victimised after making a complaint, writes Michael Clifford.

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South Dakota executes inmate who killed prison guard

Rodney Berget joked moments before he received a lethal injection.

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Ireland’s prison staff 'has an average of 15.7 sick days' a year

Ireland’s prison staff take an average of over 15 days sick leave a year.

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Family of Scottish prisoner who killed herself after ‘bullying’ launch reform campaign

Katie Allan had reported feeling distressed about her treatment while in Polmont Young Offenders Institution.

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Violence in UK prisons hits new record high

New statistics show assault and self-harm incidents behind bars have increased by 20%.

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Letters to Parole Board from victim's families show 'enormous pain and suffering'

Family members of murdered loved ones and victims of serious crimes reveal “enormous pain and suffering” in letters they send to the State body charged with releasing prisoners.

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Dundon gang boss costing tax-payer €2,000 a week to imprison; Graham Dwyer over €1,000

It is costing the tax-payer almost €2,000 a week to incarcerate the murderous gang boss, John Dundon (36) along with the dwindling numbers of subversive prisoners at the maximum security Portlaoise prison.

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Intolerable dishonesty: ‘Misleading’ prison records

Prison service chief Michael Donnellan has warned, all too plausibly, of the “huge pressure” generated by drugs-related gangs and the need to segregate inmates.

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Prison Service: Up to 14 major gangs operating in Irish jails

The Irish Prison Service says up to 14 major gangs are operating in the country's jails.

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Portlaoise Prison Wing C on lockdown

An entire wing of a top security prison remains on lock down due to safety concerns of officers.

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The duty of care to officers seems a foggy concept to the Irish Prison Service

The Prison Officers Association now has to decide if it is safe for its members to work as civilians in State-sponsored jails, writes John Cuffe.

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Prisoners sleeping on floors in packed jails, we need to find out why

The prison population will have increased by 800 in the year to the end of summer, if current rates continue. That’s enough to fill a prison, says Michael Clifford.

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Update: Seven inmates killed in South Carolina prison violence

Seven inmates have died and 17 others required outside medical attention after hours of fighting inside a maximum security prison in South Carolina.

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Prison service to spend €120,000 on spiritual needs of prisoners

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) is set to spend up to €120,000 recruiting up to 25 prison chaplains to look after the spiritual needs of prisoners.

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Nine deaths reported after inmates battle at Brazilian prison

Inmates from rival gangs battled at a prison in Brazil's Goias state on Monday, leaving nine dead and 14 injured, authorities said.

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IPRT to abolish solitary confinement for under 18's

Following the review of a case involving 4 boys at Oberstown, the IPRT calling on the Government to introduce regulations governing the use of single separation.

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10 prisoners are presently in solitary confinement in Ireland, UN hear

The head of the Irish Prison Service has defended how Ireland treats its prisoners.

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Prisons report reveals poor conditions and overcrowding

Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter has today published the Annual Prison Visiting Committee Reports.

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New clampdown on prisoners’ phones

The Prison Service has confirmed that a blocking system on prisoners' phones will be operational in the Midlands Prison next month and in Portlaoise in four months time.

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Battle to keep jails drug-free in ‘tatters’

Drugs are freely available in prisons and the battle to keep out them out is in “tatters”, according to a report by the Drug Policy Action Group (DPAG).

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Prison officers threaten nationwide strike

Prison officers have threatened a nationwide strike over new "clocking-in" procedures proposed for the country's jails.

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Flat-screen TVs found during prison searches

Three flat-screen TVs have reportedly been discovered during further searches of prisoners' cells at the maximum-security Portlaoise jail.

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McDowell orders inquiry into prisoner's call to radio show

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell has ordered an inquiry into how a well-known criminal was able to phone a live radio show from his cell.

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19 Cork prisoners at large on streets

Nineteen inmates of Cork Prison temporarily released to ease overcrowding are “unlawfully at large”.

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Greens welcome McDowell 'U-turn' on Prison Inspectorate

The Green Party today welcomed Minister for Justice Michael McDowell's apparent U-turn on the issue of setting up an independent Prisons Inspectorate.

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