Author: Keith Adams

The multiplier effect of prison overcrowding

Prison overcrowding affects prisoners’ ability to attend education, work, appointments and social activities, and puts a strain on stretched in-prison psychological and addiction supports. There are few, if any, downsides to having fewer people in a prison.

Prisoners’ Sunday: Going Beyond Sympathy

  This weekend marks Prisoners’ Sunday, a moment in the year prompting us to pause and consider the men, women, and children who inhabit our prisons and places of detention. People in prison are rarely the recipients of sympathy. Their concerns and travails barely register with the general public. In fact, public opinion on penal… Read more »

Prison Buildings are Not Enough

Because prisoners depend on prison staff for their most basic needs, the research concludes that it is critical to the concept of trauma-informed practice how staff exercise their power and authority in staff-prisoner relationships.

Prison’s Mission Creep

As a society, we should always be seeking to reduce both our prison population and the role of the prison. What we are currently experiencing is a mission creep—the gradual expansion beyond its original aims or goals— which is very difficult to row back once it becomes ingrained.

The Allure of Carceral Feminism

If a ‘carceral feminism’ rises with a reliance on the Irish criminal justice system, then a shift will imperceptibly occur where gender-based violence becomes more narrowly defined as an individual crime rather than a broad social and political problem.

“You Only Do Two Days”

When the Minister for Justice said that “six prisoners were required to be released immediately,” this is either unintentionally erroneous or misleading. These six were not prisoners by definition. Yes, they were in prison but their legal status was profoundly different from that of a prisoner. The sentence they received had been served, they were free people who were being detained in prison with no legal basis or grounding. Their sentences had expired. Something as important as the calculation of released should have safeguards with as many checks as is needed to ensure that a person is guaranteed their correct day of release.

Nothing New Under the Sun

  Two weeks ago, I wrote about how the decision of the Department of Justice to not publish two Dóchas Centre reports undermines its stated commitment to combat violence against women. The stated justification was that the Minister was acting on legal counsel sought by her Department. We know a little more about the serious… Read more »

Whose Violence? Which Women?

If reports into conduct within a closed institution for women deemed worthy of investigation are mothballed on a shelf due to “legal advice,” than an accompanying explanation must also be forthcoming. Are there ongoing criminal investigations based on the report? Are there security risks to the safe custody of the women in the Dóchas Centre? An allusion to legal advice is not sufficient when the stakes are so high.

More Women in Prison: The Only Certainty in Prison Policy in 2022

The vast majority of women are imprisoned for non-violent property crimes and the judiciary will likely continue in its paternalistic vein of either giving the women a “short, sharp shock” or an opportunity to have an assessment and receive treatment. As such, regardless of the meritous developments within the new Limerick prison block, the end result is likely an intensification of this carceral paternalism of poor women and Traveller women.

Reconnect to Nature – Interview with Cécile Renouard

We have to develop an integrated and holistic perspective. If we help people to reconnect to nature, to their own body, to their own feelings, then they will see how the quality of relationships is important and has to be promoted at all levels. With this change of perspective, people will understand that the “one health” is linked with environmental, animal, and human health.