TRACKING of a prisoner’s personal items when being transferred between prisons must be addressed by the Irish Prison Service, according to a report into the death of an inmate in Cork prison.
An investigation into the death of a 22-year-old man at the prison on April 13 last year was carried out by the deputy Inspector of Prisons earlier this year and was published in recent days.
The report outlined that the inmate was discovered by prison staff in the early hours of the morning, unresponsive in his cell. His death came just hours after his partner and child had visited him at the prison. He had been transferred a number of times between Cork and the Midlands prisons and was due back in the Midlands the day after his death.
Following his death, his family raised concerns about the failure to locate his runners after his death.
They had also expressed concerns about the length of time it took the ambulance to carry him to hospital.
However, the inspector Helen Ms Casey said the staff at the prison responded promptly when the alarm was raised and that there was no evidence of delay in transferring the deceased to hospital.
However, she said that the report into the death highlighted a lack of robust records on property belonging to prisoners, arising out of the fact that the dead man's runners were never found after his death.
She recommended: “The safe custody of a prisoners’ personal property is a matter that must be addressed by Management of the Irish Prison Service. A robust tracking system should be introduced to account accurately for any property prisoners are not allowed to take with them when transferring to another prison. This tracking system should be linked to the prisoner’s custody file so that – upon release or in the sad event of a death in custody- all property is returned safely and in a timely fashion to the prisoner or his/her next of kin.”