Opening of new 102-cell wing at Limerick Prison will help ease overcrowding
A NEW “state of the art” wing at Limerick Prison has been officially opened by Minister for Justice Simon Harris.
The new 102-cell wing is said to help alleviate some of the overcrowding concerns in the Irish Prison System but is still not enough according to Minister Harris.
“On its own, this won’t be enough… I was at the Prison Officer’s Association conference last week and there I made it clear that we need to see a major capital-building project in relation to prison capacity,” Minister Harris said.
The new prison facility provides modern prisoner accommodation, enhanced prisoner work and training facilities and new staff support facilities.
The new B-wing provides full in-cell sanitation, representing a significant milestone in the Irish Prison Service plan to end the practice that is colloquially known as “slopping out”.
Speaking at the event to mark the formal opening of the new facility, the Minister acknowledged that this complex construction project was completed to a very high standard and complimented all involved in the project for their efforts.
“It is important that people in custody are helped and supported to address the underlying causes of their offending behaviour. Prisons should be designed to do more than house people. They need to work to rehabilitate people if we are to reduce reoffending rates.
“This new building reflects clearly the philosophy that our prisons are institutions of rehabilitation. Places where a sentence is not only served but where time is spent equipping people with the skills needed to make better choices and build a crime–free future.
“Ensuring the right services are on-site to do this will reduce reoffending and benefit those in custody, their families and friends and the wider communities,” he said.
The delivery of the new Limerick Prison B Wing is the most recent development completed by the Irish Prison Service to modernise the prison estate.
Also included in this project is the construction of a new 50-space female prison which will provide an additional 22 female spaces.