Home > Report on an inspection of St. Patrick’s Institution by the Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly.

Reilly, Judge Michael (2012) Report on an inspection of St. Patrick’s Institution by the Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly. Tipperary: Office of the Inspector of Prisons.

PDF (St Patricks institution report 2012) - Published Version

This Report is the culmination of a thorough investigation into all aspects of St. Patrick’s Institution (hereinafter referred to as St. Patricks) carried out over a considerable period.

Drugs and contraband in St. Patricks (p.28)
Illegal drugs and contraband are a problem in all prisons. It appears that the problem is worst in St. Patricks. St. Patricks forms part of the larger Mountjoy Complex and is situated in a densely populated urban area.

Drugs and contraband get into prisons in a number of ways of which the following are the most common:-
• By being thrown over the perimeter walls into the yards.
• By being brought in by prisoners’ visitors.
• By being brought in by prisoners. This can be on their persons or internally.
• By being brought in by persons working in the prison or providing services to the prison.

I have been informed that the vast majority of drugs and contraband come in over the walls.

In the past two years nets were erected over the four yards in an effort to prevent drugs and contraband being thrown over the walls into the yards but despite this worthwhile initiative significant quantities of drugs find there way into the yards.

The drugs are thrown over the walls only at times that the prisoners are exercising. They are thrown from public areas outside the prison. It seems that there are two solutions:-
• That members of An Garda Síochána patrol those public areas from where the drugs are thrown during periods of exercise time in the prison.
• That the yards are covered. If this option were to be contemplated the design of any covering would need to take account of the rights of prisoners to fresh air and light.

As most visits in St. Patricks are screened visits drugs cannot get to prisoners by this route.

Airport type screening of all persons entering St. Patricks is carried out at the Main Gate. Management must always be vigilant to ensure that this screening is carried out efficiently and thoroughly but with regard to best practice and human dignity.

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