Transport: Prisoners require escorts to court and hospital
INMATES at Limerick Prison will not have to worry about hitching a lift as the Irish Prison Service has put out to public tender a contract for a year-long 24-7 taxi service.
According to the documents, seen by the Limerick Leader, the contract will cost an estimated €70,000 to €80,000 for a period of 12 months.
The Irish Prison Service said that taxis have been used “for many years” as a means of transporting prisoners on escort to court and hospital.
However, it is unlikely that a taxi service will be required for most local court sittings as the Limerick District Court and Limerick Circuit Court are nextdoor to the prison.
The deadline for tender submissions ends this Friday.
The taxi service will also provide transport for staff and blood samples in the environs of the prison and further afield, the tender documents states.
The spokesperson added: “The policy is for such escorts to be carried out wherever possible by the Prison Service Escorts Corp (PSEC), who were established in late 2005 for this purpose, using Prison Service vehicles. However, in certain limited circumstances, decisions are made to employ a taxi service for particular prisoner escorts, in view of the specific logistical, economical and operational factors that exist.
"The IPS has in the past carried out research on this matter with a view to replacing taxis with official vehicles, however, in the vast majority of cases, hiring the taxi made economic sense.”