Saturday 16 December 2017

Editorial: Ahern must act after riot in Mountjoy

IT is fortunate we are not facing a worse situation today after a riot at Mountjoy Prison left three prison officers and one prisoner injured.

More than 70 prisoners became involved in the disturbances and order was only restored after prisoner officers in riot gear were called in.

Seasoned observers of the prison scene are not surprised that the situation erupted into a confrontation between inmates and their guards.

Campaigners have long warned that overcrowding and the drugs situation in the prison was a recipe for disaster.

A report by the Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly, was also critical of the raised tensions and increased violence resulting from overcrowding.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern needs to urgently define what exactly his strategy is for dealing with prison overcrowding -- and not just in Mountjoy.

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