Saturday 29 April 2017

166 prison officers face probes for 'misconduct'

There are currently 166 prison officers under investigation for alleged misconduct across the Irish Prison Service. Stock image
There are currently 166 prison officers under investigation for alleged misconduct across the Irish Prison Service. Stock image

Gordon Deegan

There are currently 166 prison officers under investigation for alleged misconduct across the Irish Prison Service.

That is according to figures provided by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

Five prison officers - three stationed at Cloverhill and two at Castlerea - are under investigation by Prison Service authorities for using alleged undue force.

Three are under investigation for alleged corrupt practice that includes two members of the IPS Operational Support Group (OSG) tasked with cell searches, intelligence gathering and contraband retrieval.

Twenty-one prison officers are under investigation for alleged discreditable conduct while the largest proportion of complaints at 120 - or 72pc of the total - are in relation to unauthorised absences.

Two prison officers stationed at Limerick prison are being investigated for an alleged breach of the Irish Prison Service's Social Media Policy.

The policy tells staff they cannot share or divulge personal information regarding prisoners, prisons or colleagues and such action would be a breach of the Official Secrets Act and the Data Protection Act.

Employees are not allowed to upload, like or share any audio or video recordings taken in the workplace.

In her written Dáil statement to Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice, Ms Fitzgerald doesn't specify the nature of the alleged breaches of social media policy.

Irish Independent

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