26/04/2012

Prison Officers Asking For Help With Prison Gangs

The Prison Officers Association says violent and powerful prison gangs are terrorising more compliant or weaker prisoners and prison officers have no clear instructions on how to handle the issue.

Union president Stephen Delaney said it was well known that the prison gang problem in the Republic had become a serious issue in recent years.

“Prison gangs are active, vicious and cause immense difficulty within our prisons,” he said last night at the opening of his association’s annual conference in Galway.

“We have heard some evidence of how these gangs operate on the outside in our courts in recent weeks. This is an unsafe situation which can have dreadful consequences.”

Delaney says he believes the Irish Prison Service “seems to largely ignore” the growing concerns around the power of the prison gangs.

“It is left pretty much to the individual [prison] officer to work it out on a day-by-day, issue-by-issue basis. This is unfair and unsafe.”

The union’s three-day annual conference continues today in Galway.

(H)


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