Speaking at the Prison Officers Association, Annual Delegate Conference in Galway today, Jim Mitchell, Deputy General Secretary of the POA said, “Gang warfare and drug culture continue to flourish within the prison estate. In the current environment we have threats, assaults, drugs, weapons, attacks on family homes and the capacity to control matters outside the prison. This is a matter of serious concern for all of us”
“The status quo cannot remain. We must – and this is the responsibility of the Minister and the Prison Service – develop a system that removes the power from the gangs and the gang members within our prisons by whatever means are necessary. Otherwise the entire prison system is failing society and especially the section of the prison population, who are not involved in thuggery. Gangs should not exert control at any level in our prisons – and if we don’t have stringent policies and plans on this ongoing threat we will pay the inevitable price”
Mitchell continued, “We have to again question this agenda of appeasement; rather than making the membership of a gang something to be avoided or hidden. We are told that any attempts to isolate these individuals will be resisted in the courts and will get significant support in some quarters. Let us go the courts on this issue and see where it takes us. Prison gangs should not decide what is best within our prison, the state is responsible for all that happens inside our prisons and surely it is not going to cede this responsibility to people who have committed the most serious crimes – and many who have no intention whatever of changing their ways.
The full text of the Presidential Address by Mr Stephen Delaney to the Annual Delegate Conference of the Prison Officers Association given today, 27th April 2017 in the Radisson Hotel Galway can be accessed in the Conference section of this website.
Assaults on prison officers still a major concern…..
Speaking on the eve of the POA Annual Delegate Conference in Galway last night, John Clinton, General Secretary said, “The Minister and the Government will be well aware of the focus of the various trade unions over the past weeks, at conferences, as they rightly highlight the need for immediate pay restoration. The Prison Officers Association is no different – and we simply cannot wait any longer to have our 2008 pay levels restored”.
The 70th Prison Officers Association Annual Delegate Conference will take place on 27th and 28th April 2017 in the Radisson Hotel, Galway.