Sunday 21 October 2018

Inmates spent €6m last year on tobacco, sweets and nappies

The tuck shops on the Mountjoy campus, which includes the Dochas Centre for female offenders, reported sales of €997,934.
The tuck shops on the Mountjoy campus, which includes the Dochas Centre for female offenders, reported sales of €997,934.

Darragh McDonagh

INMATES spent more than €6m in prison tuck shops last year, buying items such as cigarettes, sweets, newspapers and soft drinks.

The busiest tuck shop was at Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, which houses notorious killers Graham Dwyer, Gerald Barry and Mark Nash. It took in nearly €1.3m.

Tuck shops on the Mountjoy campus, which includes the Dochas Centre for female offenders, reported the next-highest revenue of €997,934.

Former Anglo chief executive David Drumm is among the prisoners serving time in Mountjoy.

CHORES

Figures released by the Irish Prison Service (IPS) under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that €6.02m was spent in tuck shops at its 14 detention centres last year.

The IPS made a gross profit of €895,876, though margins varied considerably, ranging from 22pc at Castlerea Prison to 5.7pc at Portlaoise.

Inmates received nearly €2.6m in pocket money from the IPS last year, which can be spent on goods sold by the tuck shop or on services such as TV rental.

The money is paid to prisoners in the form of a daily allowance of up to €2.20, though inmates can earn additional cash by mucking in with chores including painting, cleaning, cooking, laundry and waste management.

A stock list of items that can be bought or ordered through prison tuck shops outlines an extensive range of tobacco, groceries, toiletries and other goods.

Unusual products include a One Direction carry-case, calendar and gift mug.

The range of confectionery includes a Hello Kitty chocolate egg for €3.99, Bear in the Big Blue House corn snacks for 59c and a pack of Pampers nappies for €8.80.

Arbour Hill Prison, where wife-killer Joe O’Reilly is serving a life sentence, sold €152,783 worth of goods from its tuck shop last year, generating a gross profit of €24,055, representing a margin of nearly 16pc.

The tuck shop at Wheatfield Place of Detention reported revenue of €695,738 and gross profit of €102,543, a margin of almost 15pc.

A profit margin of 23.7pc on sales of €135,220 was reported at St Patrick’s Institution, which accommodated juvenile offenders before it closed in June 2017.

The tuck shop at Limerick Prison had one of the highest profit margins at 21pc, reporting a gross profit of €94,441 on sales of €447,012.

Castlerea Prison recorded a profit margin of 22pc on sales of €531,769.

Portlaoise, Loughan House and Cloverhill had the tuck shops with the lowest margins.

Portlaoise reported sales of €477,119 but a profit margin of only 5.7pc, while Loughan House sold €96,404 of goods, making a gross profit of 10pc.

Cloverhill Prison reported revenue of €654,664 but a profit margin of only 11pc.

Herald

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