Irish Penal Reform Trust

Office of the Inspector of Prisons COVID-19 Staff Survey: Initial Findings

2nd July 2021

As a complement to the Office of the Inspector of Prisons (OIP) COVID-19 Thematic Inspections carried out in 2021, the OIP developed a COVID-19 Staff Survey. The objective of the survey was to capture prison staff experiences of working during the pandemic. The Irish Prison Service (IPS) provided all IPS staff working in IPS facilities with access to the survey, and over 500 responses were received. A copy of the survey is available on the OIP website.

The OIP has published some preliminary results, reporting on 13 survey questions out of a total of 47. Among the key findings are:

  • 90% of respondents thought prisoner well-being was impacted by COVID-19.
  • 47% of respondents thought that provision of educational services had not been adequate during COVID-19.
  • 56% of respondents thought that the number of prisoners requiring Chaplaincy services had increased during COVID-19.
  • 55% of respondents thought that provision of work and training programmes had not been adequate during COVID-19.
  • 84% of respondents thought in-cell phones and video calls for prisoners should continue after COVID-19.
  • 52% of respondents thought the number of prisoners requiring mental healthcare services had increased during COVID-19.
  • 48% of respondents thought that individual prisoner support during COVID-19 remained the same.

The report on the initial findings can be found here.

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