THE Inspector of Prisons has strongly criticised conditions at Limerick Prison, accusing management at the facility of being indifferent towards him and his recommendations.
In his annual report for 2010, Judge Michael Reilly says he is “particularly concerned” about conditions at the prison and he says he will be keeping the situation at Limerick Prison “under constant review”.
The judge, whose most recent inspection of Limerick Prison took place last December, says: “There are many deficiencies in the prison some, if not all, of which should have been obvious to management.”
The report is especially critical of management at Limerick Prison over their failure to act on recommendations which he made a year ago in relation to the location of drinking water taps which were located near ‘slop hoppers’ on A and B Wings.
“I had brought this to the attention of management in mid June 2010. I was informed that the situation had been remedied. On my last inspection (December 7, 2010) I found that the situation was as I had found it in mid June 2010. This suggests indifference on the part of the prison authorities,” he states in the report.
Judge Reilly found that “many areas of Limerick Prison were dirty” and that a number of areas required painting.
He adds that a number of cell windows were broken when he conducted his inspection and that the practice of “slopping out” is continuing in two wings of the prison, which was first constructed in Victorian Times.
The report, which was published this week by the Department of Justice, states that overcrowding remains a major issue and, according to Judge Reilly, there are not enough recreational areas for inmates at the Mulgrave Street jail. Incidents of violence amongst the prison population are also highlighted in the report.