The Irish Prison Service (IPS) is restricting jail visits in light of the corona virus (COVID-19) crisis.
“The unique environment of a prison and the sheer numbers and diversity of people who pass through our prisons make vigilance around infection prevention and control absolutely necessary,” the IPS said in a statement at the weekend.
It said the move is being taken to reduce risk of the virus spreading to staff, prisoners’ visitors, prisoner families, and the wider community.
The confirmation of a case of COVID-19 in a prison setting would present significant challenges for prison management in terms of controlling the spread of the virus amongst staff and prisoners, and the provision of appropriate medical treatment to affected persons, the IPS said.
Numbers in custody
The IPS is in discussion with the Department of Justice and Equality on a number of contingency measures to reduce the number of people in custody in a controlled manner.
The primary factor in the consideration of any prisoner for early release is public safety and no prisoner will be granted temporary release who poses an undue risk to public safety.