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Thursday 14 November 2019

Prison service closes centre for young offenders

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

THE Irish Prison Service is to close the much criticised St Patrick's Institution for young offenders.

Senior management was informed of the decision yesterday and it is understood that the current 125 detainees will be moved to other institutions imminently.

A damning report by the prisons watchdog last year found offenders who refused to take off their clothes voluntarily were forcibly stripped, in some cases having their garments cut off using a knife.

Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly also found in relation to the majority of complaints of alleged assaults or serious inappropriate action taken by officers he was satisfied the investigations carried out were flawed, incomplete and not in line with best practice.

The Government has already ended the detention of 16-year-olds in St Patrick's. The institution, which is in the grounds of Mountjoy Prison, now houses prisoners aged between 17 and 21 who are on remand or who have been sentenced.

A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service confirmed that it is considering "a number of options" in relation to St Patrick's.

Irish Independent

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