9th November, 2015

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Ms Frances Fitzgerald TD has today published the Inspector of Prisons Report on the Death in Custody of Prisoner B, 2013.

 

The Minister said “I would first like to take this opportunity to offer to the family my sincere condolences on their tragic loss. I have read the Report with great interest and would like to thank the Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly for his work in this regard. The death of any person in State custody must be thoroughly examined and I expect that the Irish Prison Service and indeed all the statutory agencies involved, will work hard to address the findings and recommendations in the Inspector’s reports.”

 

In relation to the negative findings in the Report, the Minister went on to say that “I have noted the Inspector’s concerns. The Irish Prison Service has taken steps to address the Inspector’s concerns and a cell share risk assessment pilot has commenced in Midlands prison. Investigation procedures following all deaths in custody have been enhanced. Although this case did not involve self harm or suicide, the circumstances of each death in custody and incident of self-harm are examined by a Local Suicide Prevention Group in each institution. The groups are chaired by the Governors and include representatives from the various services: Doctor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Chaplain, Probation, Education and Prison staff. Their examinations cover fully the background and circumstances of each death. Their objective is to identify, where possible, measures which might be implemented to contribute to a reduction in the risk of deaths in the future.

 

The resulting Internal Review Reports are considered by the National Suicide and Harm Prevention Steering Group, which is chaired by the Director General of the Irish Prison Services. The Steering Group then ensures that the relevant findings of those reports are disseminated throughout the prison system.”

 

The Inspector of Prisons Report on the Death in Custody of Prisoner B 2013 can be viewed here:

http://justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Report_on_the_death_in_custody_of_Prisoner_B_February_2013

ENDS.../

 

Note for Editors

 

The Office of the Inspector of Prisons is a statutory independent office established under the Prisons Act, 2007. The Inspector's key role is to carry out regular inspections of prisons including Deaths in Custody and to submit an Annual Report to the Minister. The Inspector may also investigate any matter arising out of the management or operation of prisons and submit a report on any such investigation.

 

The Death in Custody Report was prepared by the Inspector of Prisons using letters rather than names to ensure the anonymity of those concerned.