The Joy (Mountjoy Prison)

The Joy is a four-part documentary series that takes us inside Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison, which is one of Ireland’s largest prison facilities. Apart of the landscape for over 160 years, The Joy jas become synonymous with the capital city of Dublin, operating 24-hours a day 365 days a year. With over 750 inmates, over 700 staff, and eight prison governors it’s a city within a city where drugs are common currency and the threat of violence is a fact of life.

Hidden from the public gaze hardship, humor, heartbreak, and humanity live side by side within these walls. This series lifts the lid on life inside Mountjoy, from the governor’s boardroom to the prisoners on the landing, to the punishment block we gain unprecedented access to the inner workings of this notorious Irish jail. This is the Joy.

Episode 1: City Within A City
In the first episode of this series, we are taken inside the gates of Ireland’s most famous prison where we witness the day-to-day routines of those who are serving time and working there. However, this is quickly interrupted by an extremely violent prisoner who is being shipped off to a custom-built cell. We quickly witness the struggles Mountjoy Campus Governor Brian Murphy is confronted with as the prison becomes dangerously overcrowded due to one of the wings being closed for refurbishment.

Episode 2: Break Glass
With an increase of attempts to smuggle contraband into the prison D-Wing prisoners are restricted to screened visits only. As such the staff in Mountjoy prepare themselves for the inevitable backlash from unhappy inmates. We witness one prisoner, Paul attempt to turn his back on his past drug addiction and prove to his girlfriend on the outside that he is a changed man by making it to the Training Unit.

Episode 3: War on Drugs
With the prison now operating at maximum capacity, we witness staff attempt to manage tensions felt on the landings, but the battle against the use of drugs is neverending. We see how the staff in the Screening Area use the latest in technology in conjunction with sniffer dogs to try and reduce the flow of narcotics into the prison.

Episode 4: Gate Fever
As the capacity issues come to an end for the moment life in Mountjoy Prison starts to get better, but after a prisoner dies in custody a whole new range of complications arise for the staff here, and heartache is felt by the prisoners.

Directed by: Colm Bairéad

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