Friday 28 October 2016

Irish prisoners lodge more than 1,000 complaints against authorities

Kirkpatrick played the sadistic warder Joan
Kirkpatrick played the sadistic warder Joan "The Freak" Ferguson in the cult series

Irish prisoners made more than a thousand complaints against prison authorities in 2014, alleging abuse and complaining about services in prisons, the Herald can reveal.

In total, some 1,188 complaints were lodged by inmates in prisons around the country.

Staff in Cloverhill prison in Dublin had the highest number of complaints levelled against them by prisoners, with 257 grievances filed. Some 44 'category A' complaints, which deal with the most serious allegations, were lodged by Cloverhill prisoners last year. However, 24 of these related to one incident and were not upheld.

Prisoner complaints are divided into six categories - the most serious of which deals with alleged "assault or use of excessive force" as well as "ill treatment, racial abuse and discrimination". A total of 133 complaints under this heading were lodged.


The most common gripes among the Irish prisoner population, however, were for basic service-level issues.

They lodged 714 complaints under this category in 2014 relating to issues with visits and post, among other services.

"The fact that prisoners are submitting complaints through the system is evidence that prisoners have a confidence in the system," a spokesman for the Irish Prison Service said.

Previously, the Herald revealed that the some €5.6m was paid out in compensation to prison guards who were injured on the job when they were attacked by inmates between 2010 and 2014.

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