Inmates scoop €2,000,000 in prison compo claims
PRISONERS received €650,000 in compensation from the State last year for incidents including a prison van crash and wrongful arrest.
Figures from the Irish Prison Service (IPS) show that more than €2.1m has been paid out to prisoners since 2013, and the amount of compensation has doubled in the past two years.
Last year, six Mountjoy inmates were awarded a combined total of €250,000 for a variety of reasons including assaults, slips, trips and falls, as well as receiving injuries from “mechanical components”.
One prisoner was paid €129,850 after being subjected to violence, harassment and aggression.
Another, incarcerated at the Midlands Prison in Co Laois, was paid €16,000 for psychological distress after being wrongfully arrested.
In all, €108,000 was paid out for slips, trips and falls for seven incidents in separate prisons across the country.
Last year’s figure was more than double the €249,000 paid out in 2014. It was also significantly higher than the €468,059 compensation awarded in 2015.
The IPS said the figures related to when a payment was made, not when the claim occurred.
Compensation claims for last year were lower than the €750,000 paid out in 2013, the largest single payment of which was a €240,000 claim brought by an inmate in Cork Prison for psychological hazards as a result of “wrongful exposure.”
Last year, the State also paid €64,750 to a juvenile who was imprisoned at St Patrick’s Institution.
This related to what the IPS described as “behavioural hazards” stemming from violence, harassment and aggression.
Arbour Hill Prison, which houses some of the country’s most notorious sex offenders, was subject to only one compensation payment in the last four years.
A total of €15,837 was paid to an inmate in 2015 for a physical hazard, as a result of a slip, trip or fall.
More than €100,000 has been paid to inmates who received physical and psychological injuries while being transported to court and between prisons since 2013.
Last year’s compensation figures for the Prison Service Escort Corps (PSEC) showed one prisoner was awarded €22,545 after the vehicle he was travelling in crashed, while another inmate was paid €50,000 for what is described as “self-injurious” behaviour.