#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 12°C Friday 1 July 2022

Ireland's most dangerous prisons: Around the country staff are working in constant danger

So far this year there have been more than 50 assaults by prisoners on staff.

EACH DAY IN prisons around the country staff are under threat of being assaulted.

So far this year there have been more than 250 total incidents of prisoner-on-staff assaults and prisoner-on-prisoner assaults.

In figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, TheJournal.ie can reveal which prisons rank among Ireland’s most dangerous.

20151125_Prison_JOU Source: Statista

To view a larger version of the above graphic click here. 

Up to the end of August there have been 202 prisoner on prisoner assaults in 10 of Ireland’s 14 prisons.

The worst offenders for these have been Castlerea Prison, where 41 assaults took place, the Midlands Prison, where 49 assaults took place, and Mountjoy Mens Prison, where 38 incidents were recorded.

There was also a high incident rate in Cork Prison, where there were 18 prisoner on prisoner assaults and in the Dochas Centre, the only female prison accounted for in the 2015 figures, where there were 17 prisoner on prisoner assaults.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, General Secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association John Clinton said: “I think what this shows is that prisons have become a dangerous place to work.

In prisoner on prisoner assaults, that’s a member of staff intervening to try and break up the disturbance, and putting themselves in danger.

He went on to say that the new TV3 documentary ‘The Joy’ gives members of the public a glimpse of what life is like behind bars.

In the programme footage of an under-protection prisoner being assaulted in the yard is shown.

The Joy Footage of the incident Source: Tv3

Prisoner on staff violence

Perhaps more alarming is that up to the end of August there were 56 assaults by prisoners on staff at institutions around the country.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

The two worst for this were Mountjoy Prison Campus and Portlaoise Campus, both of which recorded 18 prisoner on staff assaults.

These figures reflect that Portlaoise is Ireland’s only high-security facility, and Mountjoy holds the largest prison population in the country.

Cork Prison recorded the next highest number of attacks on staff, with 11 assaults, followed by Castlerea Prison and West Dublin Campus, both with 4 assaults.

While the numbers make for grim reading, they could be even worse.

2015 figures have not been made available for south Dublin’s Wheatfield Prison, which last year recorded 26 prisoner on staff assaults, for Coverhill, which recorded 20 incidents last year, or for St Patrick’s Institution, which recorded 13 incidents last year.

Read: Woman who broke DART passenger’s eye-socket spared jail at victim’s request

Also: Non-smoking prisoners should be kept apart from smokers, report into death of inmate says

Read next: