A drive to recruit more prison guards has been opened for the first time in eight years.
The Irish Prison Service plans to appoint up to 120 new officers each year for the next three years.
Tanaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: “This campaign will see the welcome addition of new prison officers to our prisons. The new staff will ensure that the Irish Prison Service is renewed and has the capacity to continue to provide safe, secure custody and rehabilitation in all prisons throughout the country.
“Working as a prison officer can be complex and difficult but can also be varied, challenging and highly rewarding. While the duty of prison staff is to enhance public safety by holding securely those committed by the courts, their role must be deeper than just a custodial function.
“Prison staff must have the capacity to relate to and engage with prisoners, act with professionalism and integrity, have tolerance and humanity and the ability to role model positive social behaviour. It is an important job and prison staff play a special role on behalf of society.”
Applications from members of the minority communities are particularly welcome, Ms Fitzgerald added.