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Connolly, Johnny (2013) Report of the Inspector of Prisons. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 47, Autumn 2013, p. 32.

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The Inspector of Prisons in his annual report for 2012 stated that the availability of drugs remains a major issue in a number of prisons.1 In particular, he made reference to drug problems in Limerick Prison, a matter that was also raised by the Limerick Prison Visiting Committee in their annual report for 2012.2 The Inspector also identified a number of issues of concern throughout the prison system, many of them drug-related. At present, for example, approximately 25% of Irish prisoners are in secure 23-hour lock-up for their own protection. This is often linked to threats from drug gangs in prison or because of drug debts owed to individuals or gangs. According to the Inspector’s report: 

The reasons why prisoners are on protection vary. In certain cases prisoners request that they wish to go on protection as they are either under direct threat from others in the prison or perceive that they are under threat. In other instances they are on protection simply because they come from a particular geographic area of the Country or because of their cultural ethnicity. The prevalence of gangs in the prison, which reflects that which is on the outside, is also a problem as vulnerable prisoners can be forced to join a gang or do so of their own volition as they perceive that by doing this they are safer. (p.13)
One by-product of this prison reality is the undermining of drug service provision for dependent drug users in prison. The Inspector also points out that when prisoners are on 23-hour lock-up they effectively have little or no contact with teachers or addiction services. 
1.     Reilly M (2013) Office of the Inspector of Prisons annual report 2012. Nenagh, Co Tipperary: Office of the Inspector of Prisons. www.drugsandalcohol.ie/20341
2.     Limerick Prison Visiting Committee (2013) Annual report 2012. Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality. www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PB13000219
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 47, Autumn 2013
October 2013
Page Range
p. 32
Health Research Board
Issue 47, Autumn 2013
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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