The deputy general secretary of the Irish Prison Officers Association, Jim Mitchell has told of how prison officers have to operate a colour coding system to identify different factions.
This is necessary to ensure the different gangs do not meet during recreation, at meal times or during visits, he explained to RTE radio’s Today with Séan O’Rourke show.
Dealing with gangs is the main safety issue faced by prison officers, who often have to put themselves in the middle “to stop them killing each other”, he said.
The colour coding is required to keep track of affiliations, this is done through monitoring both within the prison and in the outside world, added Mr Mitchell.
“If affiliations are changed that will determine who gets out of cells, who can meet each other. If there is a change we need to know so we can control any violence.”
Mr Mitchell pointed out