Sixty eight inmates in Limerick Prison are locked up in a cell for 21 hours a day
SIXTY-eight inmates in Limerick Prison are locked up in a cell for 21 hours a day – with the majority locked up for the protection of vulnerable prisoners.
Figures provided by the Irish Prison Service for the number of prisoners on “restricted regimes” shows that 430 inmates across the Irish prison estate were locked up in their cells for up to 23 hours a day. Of this figure, 394 prisoners were there of their own request.
In Limerick, 68 prisoners are locked up for 21 hours in their cells, and 56 of these are aged 25 years and above.
Four prisoners aged 18-20 were locked up for this period, and eight in the 21-24 age group were locked up. The number on restricted regimes in Limerick represents 32% of the prison population at Mulgrave Street, which has a capacity for 210 males.
The restriction of a prisoner’s regime can occur due to a number of factors, including the protection of vulnerable prisoners.
A prisoner may at their own request, or when the Governor considers it necessary, be kept separate from other prisoners who are “likely to cause significant harm” to that inmate.
“The status of each prisoner on restricted regime within the prison system is regularly reviewed. If possible, prisoners can be transferred to other institutions where a restricted regime would not be necessary,” outlined the prison service.
No prisoners in Limerick or within the State are currently being separated under Rule 67 – for discipline issues.
The number of prisoners in the State on 22-hour and 23-hour restricted regimes was 44, a decrease of 39% since January. The highest number on restricted regimes was in Mountjoy’s male prison.