Speaking at the POA Conference in Athlone today 2nd May 2013, the President Mr. Stephen Delaney said, “Latest figures show that there are now approx. 4,275 (daily average) prisoners in custody compared to a daily average of 3,321 – in 2007 – an increase of just under a 1000, 29%, over 6 years. Something has to give. It is just not possible to continue to provide a rehabilitative service for such numbers with contracting resources and reduced level of funding. Real action has to be taken to reduce the numbers in custody or additional funding must be made available to increase staffing levels”.
”With reduced funding it is essential that there is a reduction of numbers in custody. We fully agree with the Report of the Oireachtas Sub Committee on Penal Reform that recommends the adoption of a decarceration strategy with the intention of reducing the prison population by one third over the next ten years. There must be a concerted plan to:
• Commute Prison Sentences
• Increase Remission and,
• Make greater use of Open Prisons”
“All these measures along with a proper policy to deal with the growing number of protection prisoners in the system must be implemented as a matter of urgency. The present arrangements for the protection of prisoners on D1 landing in Mountjoy Prison, and the B division in St Patrick’s must as a matter of urgency is addressed. Not to do so only places serious risks for all concerned”.