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05 Jul 2022

Prison service make announcement on Covid-19 visit ban to Laois jails

Legal costs double compensation awarded to prisoners

Midlands Prison Portlaoise

Family visits to prisoners at the jails in Portlaoise and other parts of Ireland are set to recommence but restrictions will be in place at the Midlands Prison due to Covid-19, according to he Irish Prison Service (IPS).

Physical visits will return in the week commencing Monday, January 24 with families able to book a visit as normal from the same date.

However, the IPS advises that where Covid-19 cases are still live full visits will be restricted.

"It should be noted that some restrictions will continue to apply in prisons where outbreaks of Covid-19 are ongoing. Those restrictions will be limited to the affected areas within the prison.  There are currently outbreaks in Mountjoy Prison, Midlands Prison, Cork Prison, Limerick and Cloverhill however, not all areas within these prisons are affected.

"Prisoners will be entitled to receive one physical visit per fortnight. Prisoners will also be able to avail of a video visit during the week that they are not receiving a physical visit. Prisoners may choose to avail of a video visit instead of a physical visit if they prefer.

"A maximum of 2 visitors will be allowed during each physical visit, of which one may be a child (under 18 years of age). Visits will continue to be subject to infection control measures including the wearing of a prison issued face mask," said the service.

Visiting has been significantly curtailed during the Covid-19 outbreak. All physical (family) visits to prisons were suspended for two weeks from Monday, January 10.   

Further updates on the operation of physical family visits will be published on the Irish Prison Service website www.irishprisons.ie and twitter account @irishprisons on an ongoing basis.

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