Ireland: prison service to spend €1.6m on bras, underwear for inmates

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) is set to spend more than €1.6m on bras, underwear, anoraks, and other items of clothing for inmates over the next three years.

Nighties, dressing gowns, and tracksuits are among 30 categories of clothing sought by the IPS in an invitation for tenders. The successful supplier will be selected next year.

Male inmates will have a choice of Y-fronts or boxer shorts, according to the tender documents, although the latter is expected to be more popular. The IPS anticipates that 78,636 boxer shorts will be required over the duration of the contract, compared to just 8,628 pairs of Y-fronts.

A total of 1,594 nightgowns for female prisoners are expected to be required over the three-year period, along with 2,280 bras and 9,260 pairs of women’s briefs.

Male inmates may have to fight over dressing gowns in the next three years, as just 200 of the items are expected to be ordered for a prison population that currently stands at around 3,800.

Other items of clothing include almost 10,000 white and black runners, more than 2,000 anoraks for wearing outdoors, 21,532 tracksuit tops, and 21,960 tracksuit bottoms.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 socks will also be required by the IPS, along with 17,040 white T-shirts for male inmates and 2,288 pinks T-shirts for their female counterparts.

The total spend on prisoners’ clothing over the next three years is expected to be €1.3m excluding VAT. The successful supplier will be expected to warehouse clothing and deliver items to prisons as required.

They will also be required to meet a list of specifications for each type of garment in relation to colour, material, and design, as well as providing a range of sizes that are washable at certain temperatures.

The tender covers the clothing requirements of all 14 of the state’s places of detention, including the two female prisons in Limerick and the Dóchas Centre on the Mountjoy campus.