Role of the Directorate
Estate Management Directorate is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the buildings within the prison estate. The Directorate also provides Information Communication Technology solutions and support for all staff (both prison officer and civilian) as well as prisoners.
Significant investment has taken place in our prison estate in recent years with 98% of all prisoners having access to toilet facilities. (Feb, 2016)
During the lifetime of The Irish Prison Service Three Year Strategic Plan 2012 – 2015, we implemented a 40 month capital plan to provide in-cell sanitation in all cells and radically improve prison conditions in the older parts of the prison estate.
Included in the Plan was :
- the replacement of Cork Prison (complete)
- the refurbishment of Mountjoy Prison (complete)
- the construction of a new wing in Limerick Prison (preparatory and enabling works commenced)
- the refurbishment of the E wing in Portlaoise Prison (business plan finalised)
This plan has now been succeeded by the Five Year Capital Strategy 2016 – 2021 which was launched on 27 June, 2016.
The Irish Prison Service (IPS) completed the construction of a new medium security prison at Rathmore Road, Cork city early in 2016. Work on the construction of this prison commenced in late February, 2014 and practical completion was achieved in October 2015. The prison became fully operational in February 2016 with a capacity of 296 prisoners and all cells have toilet, wash hand basin and showering facilities.
The facilities in the prison include :
- A surgery with modern facilities including a sufficient number of consultation rooms;
- An education unit that has acquired a number of very well appointed classrooms
- Work training facilities that encompass a state of the art commercial kitchen and bakery,
- A new and well-appointed 3 storey recreation block including an extensive gym facility and the prison sports hall is very large and has been designed so as to also double up as an auditorium ;
- A half acre horticulture site has been developed within the confines of the
Limerick Prison Masterplan
A substantial project is required to modernise the remaining parts of Limerick prison requiring it, to replace the remaining historical wings within the male prison with a new modern wing with in-cell sanitation, and to provide a new female prison and discontinue the use of the severely dated and unfit for purpose female facility there. The project is at an advanced stage, its prior appraisal has been approved, and preparatory and enabling works are underway on site.
Portlaoise Prison Masterplan
Portlaoise prison is the only high-security prison in the State, and has distinct needs and infrastructural requirements arising from that. The main prison block in use to accommodate subversive and politically motivated prisoners (the E-Block) is extremely old, lacks in-cell sanitation, and is in a very poor state of repair, and cannot continue in use in its present condition. A masterplan for Portlaoise prison that provides for modern cell accommodation and upgrades to critical cell and non-cell infrastructure where required is in preparation, and a substantive prison investment project will emerge.
Castlerea Prison Masterplan
A number of non-accommodation buildings and facilities at Castlerea prison are outdated, in a poor state of repair or no longer meet their requirements, in particular the facilities for prisoner reception, for general storage, and for prison visits, which have each become severely inadequate. An integrated project to simultaneously address and remedy each of these deficiencies is required to bring much of the non-accommodation components of the prison to a modern satisfactory standard.
Mountjoy Prison Masterplan
Over the last number of years Mountjoy male prison has had each of its four radial accommodation wings refurbished and in-cell sanitary facilities installed. This has brought to an end the need for “slopping out” in one of the busiest, while also oldest, prisons in Ireland, and has radically improved the basic standard of prison accommodation there. The refurbishment of each of these wings means that not alone has slopping out been eradicated from Mountjoy but the refurbishment facilitated the elimination of overcrowding there and the move to the present position of one prisoner per cell.
With basic sanitary standards now addressed, the longer term task is to bring the remainder of the prison up to an acceptable modern standard capable of serving needs into the future. In this context it is also possible to address wider issues in a well-considered masterplan, such as site layout, internal circulation, integration of St Patrick’s Institution with the main male prison, boundary issues, site services (power, heat, water and drainage), and internal security and segregation requirements.
Mountjoy D Wing Workshops
A project is underway to construct new workshops to serve work/training needs of the D wing at Mountjoy prison, in an area of the prison that will not interfere with wider masterplan objectives. This will provide much needed scope for enhanced structured activity and out-of-cell time for prisoners in this wing, and the project will continue and be completed in 2016.
Cloverhill Prison Cell Accommodation
As the only prison predominantly accommodating remand prisoners in the State, Cloverhill Prison must cater for nearly all prisoners awaiting trial, and given the need to separate remand from sentenced prisoners, it has very limited scope to distribute prisoners when required to other prisons. This has led to circumstances of overcrowding in Cloverhill and investment in facilities at Cloverhill is becoming increasingly necessary to alleviate the accommodation pressures of the remand population there. There is also a need for enhanced cells to cater for the very small number of sentenced prisoners in Cloverhill.
Information Communications Technology
Information Communications Technology solutions are provided to approximately 3,300 Prison Officers and approximately 3,700 prisoners. The ICT Directorate is headed by a Director and a Head of ICT and reporting to them is a manager at Assistant Principal Officer level and their staff. There are three different ICT areas, namely: Networks and Phones, Operations (servers, hardware and software) and Systems.