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Inmates tackle jail pain with Dochas Samaritans

AN inmate-to-inmate listening service for women prisoners in desperate need of support will start next week.

Three women have been trained by the Samaritans to listen to prisoners in distress at the Dochas Centre in Dublin.

It is the first time the scheme -- which marks its 10th anniversary -- will be run in a women's facility.

It is also hoped the service will be rolled out to St Patrick's Institute for young people once the under-18s are rehoused.

One prisoner, Eddie, revealed he was so distressed when he was first jailed he used to cry himself to sleep.

He admitted prison was survival of the fittest. But for the past three years he has been called on to support other inmates in Wheatfield Prison in confidence.

He now has empathy, a word he said he never understood.

hnews@herald.ie