Prison

Prison Officers to walk away with 60 million in north as sectarian legacy continues in prisons

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The sixty million payoff to prison officers in Northern Ireland could be much better spent on addressing the causes of crime such as poverty, social deprivation and prison rehabilitation. Prison officers who served during the Troubles could walk away from their jobs with packages of more than £120,000 plus pension as part of a £60m redundancy programme aimed at ‘modernising’ the service.

Prison Torture Continues in the North

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The temporary release of terminal ill prisoner Brendan Lillis from Maghaberry prison, following a mass support campaign across Ireland, marked an important first step in the battle for prisoner rights. However the wider policy to punish, brutalise and isolate republican prisoners continues. Regular beatings, brutal strip-searching, denial of legal rights and recreational activities constitutes a callous disregard for the lives of political prisoners.

An introduction to Michel Foucault's concept of Power

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Michel Foucault is a philosopher whose politics everybody seems to have a differing opinion on. He has been called a disguised Marxist, both a secret and explicit anti-Marxist, a nihilist, a new conservative, a new liberal, a neutral interpretivist, a crypto-normativist, a principled anarchist as well as a dangerous left-wing one, and even a Gaullist technocrat. An American professor complained that an obvious KGB agent like Foucault was being invited to talk at his country’s universities and the Eastern European press of the Soviet era denounced him as being an accomplice of the dissidents. 

Brendan Lillis free at last

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The release of Brendan Lillis demonstrates the power of sustained protests and mobilisations on the streets, led by his courageous partner Roisin Lynch, and friends and families of other prisoners. Solidarity pickets and camps took place across Ireland and abroad including a three day hunger strike at the former Andersonstown barracks site in West Belfast, whcih involved a broad range of republican and human rights organisations including the WSM.

End Prison Torture march in Belfast

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"End Prison Torture" echoed on the streets of West Belfast on Saturday in support of republican prisoners in Maghaberry. Despite a provocative security operation hundreds of people and three bands marched from Dunville Park on the Falls Road to Andersonstown to demand the rights and dignity of prisoners to be respected.

For the WSM's position on the North see our position paper and our topic pages on Republicanism andLoyalism.

Prison suicide death is an endictment of the entire state

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 A 19 year old who died by suicide at Hydebank Wood young offenders centre in south Belfast last year had been locked in his cell for around 22 hours a day because of short-staffing. Allyn Baxter took his own life after disgracefully spending three days on remand for not paying his TV license.

Irish prisons in deepening crisis

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Overcrowding, slopping out, TB infection, pathetic education facilities, Irish prisons are in deep crisis.  Judge "Padlock" Patwell recently retired after 52 years on the bench. He was notorious for his hardline attitude and sent many a man and woman to jail. It was on the subject of  Cork prison that he remarked whilst being interviewed on radio the other day, he was bemaoning the temporary release system, but refered to the 40 prisoners currently sleeping on matresses on the floors of the recreation room.

Women jailed for not making credit union payments, prison governor resigns

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Mountjoy prison in Dublin during a Shell to Sea protestKathleen McMahon the governor of Mountjoy Prison's Dóchas Centre has resigned after 10 years in the job saying that the prison was chronically overcrowded. 137 women are crammed into a space designed for 85 many for 'low risk' crimes including failure to meet loan repayments to credit unions for which she says "they never should have been jailed." A number of Shell to Sea campaigners have also been jailed in Mountjoy over the last few months including four for trivial Public Order offences that were later struck out at their trial and where it was judged they had been subject to wrongful detention.

Report Slams Irish Prisons

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A report by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture has found that conditions in several Irish prisons are extremely unsafe.

15 jailed for resisting imposition of bin tax in Dublin

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In Spain there was an old saying to describe the inequity of that society; "some people eat but do not work and most people work but do not eat." It appears that this is the new type of society that the present Government wish to implement in Ireland.

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