The Irish Prison Service welcomes the publication today of a new briefing by the Office of the Inspector of Prison in conjunction with Maynooth University into the impact of “cocooning” of 120 prisoners across our prisons during the Covid-19 pandemic. To access the briefing click here
In line with measures taken in the community and in order to protect the health and wellbeing of prisoners the Irish Prison Service introduced “cocooning” for prisoners over 70 years of age or those who were medically vulnerable. As a result approximately 120 prisoners out of the 3,700 in custody during that time were required to “cocoon”. The practice of “cocooning” ceased in June in line with the easing of restrictions as set out by the Government.
The Irish Prison Service was happy to facilitate this important project as the Service is acutely aware of the potential impact that the restriction of a regime can have on the prison population. The Service welcomes the briefing published today by Maynooth University and the Inspector of Prisons and also recognises the contribution and assistance of our own Red Cross Volunteers and those prisoners who were willing to participate and provide meaningful feedback.
The Service recognises the impact that the restriction of a prisoners regime can have and took steps to limit the impact on “cocooning” prisoners. Detailed information on the actions taken to mitigate against the impact are set out in the IPS Response 29 July 2020 to the publication.
Throughout this crisis the Irish Prison Service has recognised the importance of communication with prisoners and has made every effort to enhance our communications systems and the provision of information.
It is essential that this enhanced communication system includes listening to the feedback and concerns of our prisoner population. The Service recognises that it is important that the voices of prisoners are listened to, so that we can respond to the needs of the prison population and continue to provide safe and secure custody and rehabilitation in line with best practice.
29th July 2020