Progress in the
Penal System (PIPS)

4: Size of prisons

Standard 4:

Each prison is limited to a prison population not exceeding 300, but ideally 200–250.

Rationale:

Smaller prisons reflect community life more closely, and reduce the likelihood of violence, as well as facilitating the development of positive staff– prisoner relationships.

Current context:

In total, 7 of 12 prisons meet this standard. However, further analysis shows that of the seven that meet this standard, one is a female prison and two are open prisons. There are five prisons operating above this number. Only five prisons meet the ideal standard of a prison population of below 250.

Indicators for Standard:

Indicators for Standard 4

Indicator S4.1: The number of prisons in the Irish prison estate below the maximum prison size of 300 prisoners:

Prison Size Standard met
Cloverhill 431 X
Cork 296
Limerick (Male and Female) 238
Midlands 870 X
Mountjoy (Female) 105
Mountjoy (Male) 755 X
Portlaoise 291
Wheatfield 550 X
Arbour Hill 138
Castlerea 340 X
Loughan House 140
Shelton Abbey 115

Actions required:

Action 4.1: The Department of Justice and Equality should ensure that any future prison renewal programme is guided by a commitment to prison sizes of less than 300, ideally 250.

References:

IPRT Irish Penal Reform Trust

Privacy

Copyright 2019 Irish Penal Reform Trust. CHY number: 11091

viewed here