Irish prison service attempts reforms to reduce violence

 

Prison violence is said to be increasing in Ireland, where inmates face overcrowding and a lack of meaningful activities to keep them occupied. (Photo: Stock Xchng)

Prison violence is said to be increasing in Ireland, where inmates face overcrowding and a lack of meaningful activities to keep them occupied. (Photo: Stock Xchng)

Today’s Irish Times reports that changes are being introduced in Ireland to address the overcrowding  and boredom which may be the cause of increasing prison violence.An excerpt from the article:

He [Jim Mitchell, deputy general secretary of Ireland’s Prison Officers’ Association] believes a new incentivised regime being rolled out by the Irish Prison Service may help ease tensions in that it gives prisoners rewards for good behaviour.

But he believes the overcrowding is still very high and that prisoners are bored because educational, recreational and workshop activities are often not available.

Under the regime, additional small privileges have been introduced to encourage better conduct.

Plum jobs, such as posts in the kitchen – which keep prisoners occupied all day and give them access to more food – have been offered to trustee prisoners.

They have also been given the new cells in the renovated wings of some prisons.

They can also be granted additional phone calls to family members, have more contact with visitors and be permitted to have XBox video games to play on the small televisions in all prison cells.

While all prisoners are entitled to a 95c gratuity each day to pay towards items from the tuck shop, including cigarettes, those who work their way up the incentivised regime can receive €1.75 or €2.25.

Read the full article Violence inside: a growing problem in Irish prisons

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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