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"Dark days" ahead as prison overcrowding worsens

Alex Rowley
Alex Rowley

04:31 3 Apr 2024

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The country's overcrowded prisons have been described as a "ticking time bomb."

Nearly 5,000 inmates are in cells in facilities nationwide with the capacity to hold around 4,000.

Prison officers say bunk beds have been put into many cells, however, 200 inmates are sleeping on mattresses on the floor of cells.

The Prison Officers Association says prisons are already at "breaking point."

50 inmates are sleeping on the floor of Cork Prison due to persistent overcrowding issues.

Cork Prison is one of the newest in the system, yet prison officers say it's the most overcrowded in the country.

Gabriel Keaveny of the Prison Officers Association has said "dark days" lie ahead unless action is taken.

He said the female prison in Dublin was designed to hold 80 prisoners, but is now nearing 200 prisoners.

Keaveney claims that overcrowded prisons lead to more conflict as resources such as tuc shops, visits, etc. need to be competed for.

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