Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

20.40 13 Mar 2020


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The temporary release of some prisoners is among the contingency measures being considered if a coronavirus case is confirmed in a prison here

The Irish Prison Service says no prisoner would be released if they pose an 'undue risk' to public safety.

Prison authorities have already implemented a number of measures in a bid to limit any spread of the virus, including visitor restrictions.

However, the say other measures are being considered given the "unique environment" of a prison and the "sheer numbers" of people who pass through the facilities.

In a statement, the IPS said: "The confirmation of a case of COVID-19 in a prison setting would present significant challenges for prison management in terms of controlling the spread of the virus amongst staff and prisoners, and the provision of appropriate medical treatment to affected persons.

"In this regard, the Irish Prison Service is in discussion with the Department of Justice and Equality on a number of contingency measures to reduce the number of people in custody in a controlled manner.

"The primary factor in the consideration of any prisoner for early release is public safety and no prisoner would be granted temporary release who poses an undue risk to public safety."

Prisons around the world have been working on their plans to respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Iran has temporarily freed thousands of prisoners as the country battles one of the world's worst outbreaks of the virus.

Meanwhile, riots and protests have been reported in some Italian prisons due to COVID-19 measures and restrictions, with Reuters reporting a total of 12 people had died in the violence.

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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