Issue 57 Thornton Hall Prison: A Progressive Move?

Gardaí and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Reports

on Thursday, 27 March 2008. Posted in Issue 57 Thornton Hall Prison: A Progressive Move?

Peter McVerry SJ

pdf Gardaí and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Reports

 

Introduction
Towards the end of 2007, a young man, aged nineteen, from a deprived neighbourhood came to tell me that on the previous day he had been taken to a Garda Station for a drugs search, during the course of which he had beeng assaulted by several Gardaí. When no drugs were found on him, he was told to leave. He claimed that as he was leaving he was shoved forcefully towards the door by a Garda, which caused his head to smash the glass panel of the door. He said that he was then brought back into the Garda Station and charged with assaulting the Garda and causing criminal damage to the door.

The Ripple Effects of Imprisonment on Prisoners' Families

on Thursday, 27 March 2008. Posted in Issue 57 Thornton Hall Prison: A Progressive Move?

Jessica Breen

April 2008

pdf The Ripple Effects of Imprisonment on Prisoners\' Families

 

Introduction

Visitors waiting outside the Dóchas Centre

Visitors waiting outside the Dóchas Centre

© D. Speirs

 

To many in our society, the impact of imprisonment on prisoners and their families is a matter of little or no importance. In the face of everyday issues such as meeting financial demands, finding a balance between work and family commitments, and obtaining access to services in an inadequate health care system, the needs of prisoners and their families is not an issue of concern for many members of the public.

 

Ireland's Women's Prisons

on Thursday, 27 March 2008. Posted in Issue 57 Thornton Hall Prison: A Progressive Move?

Christina Quinlan

April 2008

pdf Ireland's Women's Prisons

Introduction
Among Ireland’s fourteen prisons, there are two for female prisoners: one is the Dóchas Centre, the new female prison at Mountjoy; the other is located in the oldest prison in the country still in operation, Limerick Prison, a male prison where imprisoned women are accommodated on one corridor. Both are closed prisons. Prisons of varying levels of security, including open prisons, as are available for male prisoners in Ireland, are not provided for the female prison population.

Is there a Need for the Women's Prison to Move from Mountjoy to Thornton Hall?

on Thursday, 27 March 2008. Posted in Issue 57 Thornton Hall Prison: A Progressive Move?

Eoin Carroll
April 2008
Introduction
The Dóchas Centre

The Dóchas Centre

© C. Quinlan
The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Irish Prison System (the Whitaker Report), published in 1985, identified women in prison as a particularly vulnerable group. It recommended that, in so far as possible, women offenders should be given non-custodial penalties and that of those imprisoned the majority should be accommodated in an open prison.1 More recent studies – in 2001 and 2003 – have also highlighted the vulnerability of women in the prison system.2

Hospital or Prison? What Future for the Central Mental Hospital?

on Thursday, 27 March 2008. Posted in Issue 57 Thornton Hall Prison: A Progressive Move?

Central Mental Hospital Carers Group

April 2008

Hospital or Prison? What Future for the Central Mental Hospital?

 

Introduction

Entrance to the Central Mental Hospital

Entrance to the Central Mental Hospital

© D. Speirs

The Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum probably evokes a cold shiver in people as they pass by – that is, if they think about it at all. The perception of the hospital is influenced visually by the high walls, the imposing metal gates leading up a long avenue to another electronic gate, and the glimpse of a huge grey granite building. It is fuelled, no doubt, by stories and myths about mental illness, criminal lunatics and madness. People may read in the newspapers about the crimes of some patients but do they realise: ‘There but for the grace of God go I’? None of us knows when or where mental health problems will occur or with what severity. Certainly none of us who are parents or relatives of patients in the Central Mental Hospital ever expected serious mental illness to visit our families.

Working Notes Issue 57 Editorial

on Thursday, 27 March 2008. Posted in Issue 57 Thornton Hall Prison: A Progressive Move?

April 2008

In February 2008, the report on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed Thornton Hall prison complex was published. The scope of the Assessment did not extend to analysing in depth the impact of Thornton Hall on the prisoners who will be detained there. Yet the study’s Non Technical Summary confidently declared that: The key benefit of the Development from a socio-economic point of view will be the significant improvement of the prison population’s general welfare. While the new complex may mean improved physical conditions for those moved from the inadequate, out-of-date and overcrowded facilities in Mountjoy male prison, a whole range of concerns about Thornton Hall should cause us to question the extent to which it can be considered a progressive development in Irish public policy.

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