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Jail Journal, The Womens Prison and other articles, Vol 1, No. 2 – Prisoners Rights Organisation, c.1973 January 8, 2018

Posted by guestposter in Irish Left Online Document Archive.

To download the above please click on the following link. womens-prison.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This document from the Prisoners Rights Organisation was published around 1973. As a journal it is quite comprehensive with articles on a range of areas including Prison Reform, The Women’s Prison, the Offences Against the State Act and advice for those arrested. There are accounts from Portlaoise Prisoners Union.

The piece on the Womens Prison notes that:

There is rarely more than 50 women prisoners at any given time in Mountjoy and Limerick prisons. This figure is for the adult prisons but of course many girls between 14 and 18 are imprisoned in the adult female prison, whatever the Children’s Act may stipulate to the contrary. With such a small number of female prisoners to cater for it would be natural to imagine that their rehabilitation would be a comparatively easy job. This is not so fro the simple reason that their rehabilitation is not even attempted.

A woman is a second class citizen in Ireland generally, in prison this discrimination is intensified. Women get no exercise at all while in prison. Quite recently they were granted the vast privilege of an hour walking up and down a gravel path but they cannot play games, have a football or basketball or simply run about to keep themselves wawrm.

The work that women perform within the prison does not and is not intended to fit them for gainful employment on release… illiterate women prisoners get no education, a teas half of all women prisoners cannot read even the puerile books provided in the library… they look at comic books or simply sit and smoke, staring at the walls and breaking out into odd crying fits to break the monotony.

The account continues by describing yet more repressive and grim conditions.

The piece on Abuses of Offences Against the State Act outlines the account of someone arrested under the act with others ‘none of whom have or ever did have any political affiliations whatsoever, arrested and detained for 3 hours without pretext’.

An important document.


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