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‘JOYFUL’ Mountjoy Prison Governor opens up about life behind bars and how people still throw drugs over the wall

Inmate deaths are the worst days, according to Mountjoy’s Governor.

Eddie Mullins has been in command of the Dublin prison since 1991 when he began as a chef in the kitchen.

Prior to his promotion, he had previously worked as a prison officer on the tarmac.

To his great surprise, after just taking the job to please his wife, he has grown to appreciate it.

I never thought I’d stay for 30 years,” he said. I thoroughly appreciate my work.

“Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of obstacles, and there are a lot of things we need to work on, but the current path we’re heading in the prison service, everything is getting better,” he said.

He said he tries to look for the positive every day, but admitted that some days are more difficult than others.

“It’s difficult to put in the perspective of a poor day,” he said. Each day has its own unique level of stress.

“There are times, for example, when the number of persons committed from the court increases, when you have to figure out where to put people, where you’ll accommodate them, and how to segregate those who don’t get along.

“One of the worst days in jail is when someone dies in detention. “It brings a dreadful mood to the prison, and it’s very harsh on prisoners, and it’s very difficult on staff,” he says.

 

mount joy prison

 

‘GANG CULTURE NOT NEW’

Despite Mountjoy’s difficult working conditions, he claimed that Irish jails have an advantage over their worldwide counterparts.

“The reality is that criminality in every significant Irish town is almost invariably organized crime,” he remarked.

“As a result, gangs can be found in every Irish town, and they are all linked to one another.

“As a result, this is the current set-up for illegal activity. As a result, jails serve as a microcosm of society, as we witness in our daily lives.

“People tend to focus on contemporary gangland activity and specific gangs, but there were gangs that were well-known and infamous 30 years ago when I joined the prison service.

“The existence of gangs and gang-related crime is nothing new. Of course, we have that in prison since it’s so well-structured and organized.

“But the difference I think in Irish jails, and I think it’s to do with our mentality, and I’m talking about the collective personality, the Irish personality, is that interactions between inmates and staff are normally fairly excellent.

 

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“There are still some snags in the relationship, but overall, things are going well.

“There is a lot of interaction between employees and inmates. Perhaps we are a nation of talkers.”

It takes a lot of effort on the part of the personnel to keep illegal substances like narcotics and cell phones out, and the drugs and tactics they use change year after year.

“Heroin is not the problem it used to be,” he asserted. Throughout jails, heroin was a major issue in the 1990s and 2000s.

“Tablets are a significant problem, especially when it comes to prescriptions and antidepressants in large doses.

“Some of the old head shop buys, we would have termed them legal highs, they would be fairly popular, sadly in many situations it’s anything they can get their hands on. Cannabis is still extremely popular.

There is no doubt about that. Typically, a drug shipment arrives at a jail, and the inmates distribute it among themselves, so you’ll witness the effects of that drug’s use throughout the facility.

“Then there’s the possibility that inmates will ingest marijuana and develop a new personality entirely.

“It’s not uncommon for inmates to make their own hooch in prison. Around St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Christmas, booze would be especially popular.

 

‘MOST BASIC WAY’

“Drones have become a phenomenon in the last two or three years, and then we’ve got to deploy technology, anti-drone technology, to try and offset that,” he said on the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly podcast.

“It’s a cat and mouse game,” he said. The simplest method of smuggling narcotics into a prison is to go down the North Circular Road and toss them over the prison’s fence.

Other mechanisms tend to fall back to their default position of being thrown over the wall when they fail, as well. So they’re referred to as throwbacks.

“It’s as easy as that. Just before Christmas, we received our largest-ever shipment of medications, which arrived in the form of delivery.

“That issue was remedied because we intercepted it, because we had intelligence on it, and because we intercepted the drugs.”

 

ROCK BOTTOM

Some prisoners, Mullins said, have mental health or substance abuse issues that the support services aim to help them overcome while they’re in prison.

“And then there are others who wreak havoc on society,” he continued. It’s a period in time for those who are here and see it as “I’ll serve my 12 months,” “I’ll do my two years,” “I’m not interested in whatever you can provide me, I want to get back out and make significant money in criminality.” There are a number of things that you will have to do differently to handle.”

People who are looking for a way out of criminality should focus on their surroundings, he said.

There is a big hole in society, and it is not just about government initiatives and government. People coming out of prison are the focus of this discussion.

People who are released from jail often find themselves sleeping on a couch in the home of a relative or a sibling because they have nowhere else to go. ”

As a result, even if your sister has three or four children, she may feel forced to help you out when you get out of prison.

This is a huge problem for society. One thing is for certain. Leaving prison, a person’s only source of support is from fellow criminals.

That merry-go-round will be waiting for him when he gets back into the system.

 

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