Rebecca Ellis, with a photograph of her brother Alan. Photograph: Dave Meehan/ Irish Times

When Alan Ellis appeared in court in last October to plead guilty to his latest offence he was surrounded by a phalanx of prison guards in full riot g(...)

On Friday, in Mountjoy main prison, 227 prisoners were on a protection regime, meaning they are locked up for at least 19 hours a day. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Over half of the prisoners in the country’s biggest prison, Mountjoy, are currently in protection regimes for their own safety due to gang violence. (...)

Independent Senator Joan Freeman, who chaired the Oireachtas joint committee, which was set up  to produce a cross-party report on a long-term plan for mental healthcare. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

A top-up pay allowance for psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists should be considered by Government, to address a staffing crisis in mental health serv(...)

Irish prisons: warring gangs use threats and acts of violence against other inmates, their family members and staff. Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

In 2013, Seán had just been transferred to C-Wing when the alarm went off. It was a sound he was used to. Whenever there is a major fight in Mountjoy(...)

Michael Donnellan, Director General, Irish Prison Service, recently drew attention to the “huge pressure” being created within prisons by drugs-related gangs.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Because of a rising prison population, robust data is required on the incidence of crime, detection rates, sentencing patterns and the use of probatio(...)

Staff working in Cloverhill say the number of mentally ill people being sent there by the courts is unprecedented. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The country’s prison population has risen for the first time in seven years despite recent legislation curtailing the jailing of fine defaulters. Pri(...)

Barely one out of every hundred prisoners voted in last month’s referendum on the Eight Amendment which saw a record turnout among the general populat(...)

 Mr Justice Paul Butler said it was very difficult to sentence a man of this age and suggested  the Irish Penal Reform Trust should carry out a study on the sentencing of elderly people.

A High Court judge has invited a prison reform body to carry out a study on the sentencing of elderly people. Mr Justice Paul Butler made the comment(...)

 Michael Donnellan, director general of the Irish Prison Service (IPS), said the management of people with severe and enduring mental illness posed a major challenge. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

The Irish prison population has been “exploding” in the past year but staff are unable to offer adequate mental health services, an Oireachtas Committ(...)

The vast majority of the approximately 350 life-sentence prisoners in Ireland are there for murder, and can only be released by the Minister for Justice on the advice of the Parole Board.  File photograph: Getty Images

The Government is to set a new effective minimum sentence of 12 years for murder as part of its plan to reform the parole system. The 12-year provisi(...)

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