Rising Number Of People In Prison

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A new report shows ongoing overcrowding undermines Ireland's penal systems.

There are rising numbers of people in prison.

A new report shows ongoing jail overcrowding risks undermining Ireland's penal system, with people sleeping on mattresses regularly.

A third of  prisoners are on waiting lists to access mental health supports.

The Progress in the Penal System report states the ideal maximum prison capacity is 250 - the Midlands Prison has bed space for 875 prisoners, while Portlaoise Prison meets the standard, with 231.

Both institutions were near or over capacity yesterday, at 105% and 94%, respectively.

With some progress in 2022 including in mental health and overcrowding, it's at risk of reversal due to a lack of policy implementation.

Molly Joyce, acting Executive Director of Irish Penal Reform, says prison numbers are rising sharply, possibly because court delays caused by covid are now clearing. 

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