Overcrowding and cell sharing continues despite latest report into 2006 death

dsc00081 250x250Last week the Department of Justice published its report Commission of Investigation into the Death of Gary Douch. The report concludes that ‘Overcrowding in Mountjoy Prison completely undermined the ability of the prison to respond in a meaningful and safe way to Gary Douch’s request for protection’, and furthermore that ‘keeping seven prisoners overnight in Holding Cell 2 of the B Base was a violation of each of those prisoners’ human rights.’ This report comes seven years after Gary Douch was put in a holding cell with six other men overnight after asking to be placed in protection for fear of his life. One of these men was Stephen Egan who had just transferred from Cloverhill Prison, and before that the Central Mental Hospital, without a proper mental health evaluation or care. During the night, Egan beat Douch to death and hid his body under one of the mattresses on the floor of the cell. For the full report click here. For summary and analysis read Cormac O'Keeffe's article from the Irish Examiner.

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Serious Concerns omitted in Limerick Prison Visiting Committee Report

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

18h00

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has expressed concern that the Visiting Committee Report on Limerick Prison misses the big picture.

Eoin Carroll, Advocacy Officer in the Jesuit Centre said, “The Committee’s report highlights that there has been an improvement in reducing overcrowding. It fails, however, to mention that both the men’s and women’s prisons remain chronically overcrowded based on the Inspector of Prisons standards, and regularly overcrowded based on the prison service’s own standards.”

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Jesuit Centre criticises plan for 'doubling up' and expansion in new Cork Prison

prison 250Jesuit Centre strongly criticises plan for 'doubling up' in new Cork Prison, describing the decision as a retrograde step and in breach of international best practice

Immediate Release: 12h00 16 January 2014

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has expressed dismay that the Minister for Justice will today sign the building contract for a new prison in Cork which is based on double occupancy of cells, saying this is a retrograde step and in breach of international best practice.

The Jesuit Centre challenges the Minister's previous assertions that the new prison will provide "adequate and suitable accommodation for all prisoners". The Centre points out that a failure to provide single cell accommodation in the new prison will be contrary to Article 18.5 of the European Prison Rules, drawn up by the Council of Europe of which Ireland is a founder member State.

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Spotlight on Women in Prison

Women in Prison: Need for ChangeThe latest report by the Inspector of Prisons on women in prison requires follow up and action. A position paper produced by the Irish Penal Reform Trust, contributed to by the Women in Prison Reform Alliance, provides a blueprint. The Irish Prison Service’s promised strategy for women in prison, due to be published in May 2013 as a matter of urgency, needs to be published.

The overuse of imprisonment for women and the conditions in which they are detained has been of particular concern to the JCFJ since 2008. In May of that year we hosted a seminar on women in prison, our guest speaker was Baroness Jean Corston. Baroness Corston had just written a hard hitting report on the situation of women in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. Senator Ivana Bacik who has been a leading advocate for prisoner’s rights also spoke at the event.

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