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Home > Isolating ‘puppet master’ gang leaders should stem the supply of drugs in prisons.

[] Isolating ‘puppet master’ gang leaders should stem the supply of drugs in prisons. (07 Feb 2015)


Stemming the flow of drugs in Irish prisons should start with isolating gang leaders, said the Irish Prison Officers’ Association (POA).The group said its members are “confounded” by the recent announcement by the Irish Prison Service that “new” initiatives designed to block the flow of drugs into Irish Prisons are to be introduced. 


RTÉ News reported that new measures include increased security measures, enhanced screening for everyone coming into the prisons, a new confidential help line where people can report drugs smuggling and the establishment of new drug-free therapeutic communities.

Speaking to Jim Mitchell, Deputy General Secretary of the POA said these are not “new” initiatives, but have been “trialled before and found wanting or were originally proposed by the staff side and watered down by management”. 

He said the POA has long requested enhanced screening for everyone who enters Irish prisons – including employees – since the first announcement of airport style searched entry in 2008.

Mitchell clarified that prison officers welcome any new initiatives to tackle the drug problem in prisons, but said in order to make any dent in the problem a “harder regime for those pulling the strings” needs to be introduced.

“We are supportive of all initiatives that tackle the drug problem in Irish prisons, but many of these initiatives have been trialled or introduced one way or another before,” said Mitchell.

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