Saturday 25 March 2017

Will prison heads listen this time?

Following the Christmas week assaults on staff and inmates in Mountjoy Jail, and the contribution by former prison officer, John Cuffe (Letters, December 30), hopefully the Director of Irish Prisons, Brian Purcell, will at last listen to the views of POA secretary John Clinton and others on the serious problems within the Irish penal system.

You have reported staggering security breaches; 505 drug seizures, 580 mobile phones confiscated inside Mountjoy in 2009 (Irish Independent, December 28). Twelve staff and inmates were hurt in fights last week alone.

With such serious trafficking problems, the answer for the director general is to implement closed visits for any inmate suspected of trafficking, or with a poor disciplinary record. Visits behind a glass screen, allowing no personal contact with visitors.

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