THERE are 15 inmates on mattresses on the floor of Cork Prison today because of overcrowding.
There are 311 prisoners in the prison, having climbed from earlier in the week.
Figures have spiked at the prison a number of times in recent weeks.
However, the issue had alleviated for a short time.
The new prison has accommodation for 296 inmates The recent spike in figures follows up to 80 nights last year where prisoners were forced to sleep on mattresses on the floor because of overcrowding.
For example, in December, there were two occasions when eight inmates had to sleep on mattresses – on December 5 and 7.
Figures supplied by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan revealed that there were dates in July when the numbers sleeping on mattresses spiked over 20. On July 3 and 4, there were 21 inmates on mattresses on the floor.
The issue of overcrowding at the prison has been brought to the attention of the Inspector of Prisons in recent weeks by Eoin Carroll, deputy director of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. He told the Evening Echo: “I am very concerned about the situation at Cork prison.”
According to the Irish Prison Service, space is at a premium in Cork prison in recent times because of construction work at Limerick Prison, which means that offenders cannot be transferred from Cork to there. The IPS said it is not practical to send prisoners to other prisons because of proximity from families of the offenders.