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Health Research Board. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2017) Ireland: national report for 2016 - prison. Dublin: Health Research Board.

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There are 14 institutions in the Irish prison system comprising 11 traditional ‘closed’ institutions, two open centres, which operate with minimal internal and perimeter security, and one ‘semi-open’ facility with traditional perimeter security but minimal internal security (the Training Unit). The majority of female prisoners are accommodated in the purpose-built Dóchas Centre adjacent to Mountjoy prison in Dublin and the remainder are located in a separate part of Limerick prison.

 

Political responsibility for the prison system in Ireland is vested in the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence. The Irish Prison Service (IPS) operates as an executive agency within the Department of Justice, Equality and Defence. It is headed by a Director General supported by seven directors. The Office of the Inspector of Prisons is a statutory, independent office established to carry out regular inspections of the 14 prisons and to report to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence. Four policy documents have a particular bearing on the provision of drug-related healthcare in the Irish prison system – the IPS policy and strategy document, Keeping drugs out of prisons, and the National Drugs Strategy (interim) 2009–2016, the IPS three-year strategic plan 2012–2015, and the joint IPS–Probation Service strategic plan 2015–2017.

 

One of the key benchmark criteria relevant to the treatment of prisoners is equivalence of care. This, according to the Inspector of Prisons, is the minimum legal standard required in prison healthcare and entitles prisoners to the same care as that available in the community. Since the launch of the Irish Prison Service (IPS) drugs policy and strategy document, Keeping drugs out of prisons, the provision of drug services in Irish prisons has improved. The contracting-out of treatment services to addiction services based in the community and to private consultants including pharmacists has also been beneficial and has enhanced links between prison and community-based services. The IPS and the Probation Service have a multi-agency approach to offender and rehabilitation from pre- and post-imprisonment in order to reduce offending and improve prisoner outcomes. The availability of drugs within prisons is a cause of concern and prison visiting committees have described the situation as extremely worrying. It impedes the work of providing support and counselling in prisons.

Date:2017
Pages:17 p.
Publisher:Health Research Board
Corporate Creators:Health Research Board. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication:Dublin
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Related URLs:
Subjects:A Drugs and alcohol use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence of drugs and alcohol use > Problem drugs and alcohol use
F Concepts in psychology > Specific attitude and behaviour > risk-taking behaviour
G Health and disease > Drugs and alcohol disorder > Drug use
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care delivery
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Prison-based health service
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Correctional system and facility > Prison
T Demographic characteristics > Prison Inmate (prisoner)
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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