The Governor of Mountjoy Prison says that every time they close off avenues for drugs and contraband getting into the prison, another one opens up.
Eddie Mullins was speaking to Pat Kenny as part of a special report from inside the Dublin jail.
Mr Mullins explained what life is like at Mountjoy.
He observed: “Prison is a difficult place - anybody that would think otherwise is mistaken.
“Today we have 685 prisoners, all of a particular age, who don’t want to be here. There’s all the dynamics of putting 685 men in confined area.
“The problems that are in the community spill over into prison - if there are issues going on with gangs or whatever it might be in the community, we have to contend with that in prison.”
He explained that drugs are a ‘scourge’ not just in Mountjoy, but in prisons around the world.
Mr Mullins said: “The reality is we’re a city centre prison - we’re surrounded by streets and alleyways. We have probably 150 people visit the prison on a daily basis."
He said that while their search systems are 'robust', they're not robust enough to catch everything.
He explained: “We have had the phenomenon of drones flying drugs into prison… people throwing drugs over the wall.
"There are many ways of bringing drugs and contraband into prison - as we close off one avenue, another one generally opens up.”
Mr Mullins said the prison has an extensive methadone programme as part of their overall medial programme.
He said: "Methadone is not the entire solution - the reality is it's about education, and convincing people to abstain from taking drugs in the first place."
'Not a nice place'
Pat also spoke to some of the prisoners in Mountjoy about the experiences of prison life.
One prisoner named Joe explained that while there are facilities and programmes to help people readjust to normal life once they’ve been freed, they won’t work for everybody.
He suggested: “There’s people here who are getting out probably today - they’re not going home to a home, they’re getting a hostel or this or that.
“That falls into the reoffending… when you’re putting people back into that situation, after they’re doing so well in the education unit with the support that they had in the jail… there’s not a lot of hope for these people.”
On the subject of prison life, one man named Paul explained: “It is a stressful environment - if anyone says it isn’t, I think they’re silly to say that.
“You’re constantly on the lookout - you’re in prison, it’s not a nice place.”
He added: “I’m so accustomed to prison and the ways of prison at this stage.
“I’m in over ten years - I had to take a negative and turn it into a positive.”