Some prisoners using jail time 'like a university' to share knowledge with each other

Director of Support After Crime Services on Anglesea Street, Sally Hanlon said prisoners have allegedly swapped information about people in their areas, the elderly in particular, for the purposes of criminal activity.
Some prisoners using jail time 'like a university' to share knowledge with each other

Ms Hanlon said that a number of older people have returned to hoarding cash at home as a result of distrust in banks. This has made them extremely vulnerable to criminals, particularly those exchanging local knowledge in prison.

A NUMBER of convicts are treating prison as a “university for criminals” by gaining local knowledge from each other, to target vulnerable people.

That’s according to Director of Support After Crime Services on Anglesea Street, Sally Hanlon, who said she has seen the effects of crimes, first-hand, that were planned in prison.

Ms Hanlon said while many avail of courses and facilities to turn their lives around, a small portion of inmates are exploiting time inside to gather intelligence.

She referred to how prisoners have allegedly swapped information about people in their areas, the elderly in particular, for the purposes of criminal activity.

This means that they can both benefit from the offence without being linked to the crime geographically.

Ms Hanlon said that some older people are storing money at home, making them significantly more vulnerable.

She described the fear that had been instilled in this cohort, following what many regarded as another step in the direction toward a cashless society.

A U-turn was announced by AIB last Friday, who had planned to make 70 branches nationwide cashless. Locations targeted included Bishopstown, Carrigaline, Glanmire, and Western Road; as well as Castletownbere, Cobh, Dunmanway, Kinsale, Kanturk, Millstreet, Mitchelstown, and Youghal.

However, following a major backlash, the company decided not to proceed with the proposed changes to their banking services.

Ms Hanlon said that a number of older people have returned to hoarding cash at home as a result of distrust in banks. This has made them extremely vulnerable to criminals, particularly those exchanging local knowledge in prison.

“Some prisoners use jail time as an opportunity to take up education opportunities and genuinely turn their life around,” Ms Hanlon explained. “However, there are still some that view prison like a university where they can learn from each other. For example, if they knew a neighbour had money they might tell a friend in prison and split the cash. This makes it harder for the person who is local to the area to be associated with the crime but they both benefit.”

She added that many older people like to keep cash aside, to have money to fall back on in the event of an emergency.

“A lot of older people don’t trust the banks. When that trust is broken it’s very hard to get it back. Some of them would have cash in their house that not even other family members would know about.

“Sometimes this is cash that they are holding on to in the event that they have to go into a nursing home.”

According to Ms Hanlon, shame often prevents people from sharing the full details of a crime.

“We have had people come to us who had money taken from them. However, they were afraid to admit they had been storing it in places like under mattresses in case they would be blamed for what happened.”

For more information on Support after Crime services, visit https://www.supportaftercrimeservices.ie/

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more