Newstalk
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15.37 7 May 2015


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Minister for Justice Ms Frances Fitzgerald has confirmed that prison officers escorting high-risk prisoners will now be issued with bulletproof vests, stab proof vests and pepper spray.

Two prison officers were stabbed and seriously injured during the escape last February.

Speaking at today’s Prison Officer’s Association conference, in Clare, Ms Fitzgerald said she takes, “the safety and welfare of all prison staff very seriously and we are committed to ensuring that every action is taken to safeguard staff at all times.”

In 2014, there were 151 recorded assaults by prisoners on staff.

In February of this year a prisoner, Derek Brockwell, assaulted two prison guards while they were transporting him to hospital. One officer was stabbed in the abdomen, while another suffered a wound to the hand.

Following the Tallaght incident a Control and Restraint Advisory Group was convened and made a number of recommendations on future prison escorts.

The group recommended that all guards involved in ‘high risk’ or armed escorts be provided with stab vests, bullet proof vests and pepper spray. Prisoners deemed high risk will also have to make the hospital trip in standard prison attire.

“I fully accept the Group’s short, interim, and long term recommendations,” Ms Fitzgerald said.


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