MORE than 40 assaults on prisoners by fellow inmates were reported at Cork Prison last year.
In total, 44 assaults on inmates were reported to prison staff, who called in gardaí to investigate.
A further nine assaults, by inmates on prison staff, were recorded and reported, according to figures from the Irish Prison Service.
A Garda spokesman said that there could be an average of five a month but said that the vast majority are not followed up with official complaints.
He explained that each assault is reported to gardaí by prison authorities immediately after they received reports of such incidents.
But when gardaí seek to investigate, the majority of victims in the prison population do not make a formal complaint and the incident cannot be pursued.
Of those that are pursued, offenders can get a prison sentence of up to seven years, and/or a fine if found guilty.
Under Section 19 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, a judge is allowed impose a sentence consecutive to the one which the offender was already serving. The highest number of assaults on staff in recent years was in 2014 when 13 were assaulted.
The number of assaults on prisoners has increased from 27 in 2015 but fallen from 51 in 2014. A report published by the Irish Prison Reform Trust, called Progress in the Penal System, highlighted that the number of assaults nationally fallen.
The report outlined: “The number of assaults by prisoners on other prisoners decreased by 27% to 417 in 2017. Acts of violence by prisoners on staff was up by 1% to 104 incidents.”
A spokesman for the IPS said that inmates are disciplined for assaults, and have privileges taken away from them.