POA CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF PRISON GANGS
The Prison Officers Association Annual Delegate Conference is being held in Radison Hotel Galway, Wednesday 25th – Friday 27th April 2012
Stephen Delaney, President of The Prison Officers Association (POA) speaking at their annual delegate conference in Galway last night said, “It is well known that we have a serious problem with gangs within our prison system. Prison gangs are active, vicious and and cause immense difficulty within our prisons. We have heard some evidence of how these gangs operate on the outside in our courts in recent weeks. This is an unsafe situation, which can have dreadful consequences”
Delaney went on to say, “Some very compliant prisoners are terrified by these gangs, as they very simply set up systems, which mirror their modus operandi in their communities. The Prison Service seems to largely ignore this most threatening development and it is left pretty much to the individual officer to work it out on a day by day issue by issue basis. This is unfair and unsafe”.
Delaney, said, “I am asking the Minister to establish an independent review of the development and behavior of the criminal gangs in our prison system and to develop clear, concise and effective recommendations on how this can be controlled. These gangs are violent, threatening and a major source of fear and stress for the wider prison population – and there are remedies – such as isolation, which can address the situation. If some action is not taken on this issue – we will have increasing problems, which will be more difficult to resolve in the longer term”
“The capacity of gangs to operate is greatly enhanced by the serious overcrowding we have in our main prisons”