Written answers

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Prison Inspectorate

9:00 pm

Photo of Tom HayesTom Hayes (Tipperary South, Fine Gael)
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Question 49: To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of times he has met with and been briefed by the current Inspector of Prisons since his appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28270/10]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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I wish to advise the Deputy that I have personally met with the Inspector of Prisons on a number of occasions both formally and informally since his appointment in order to receive his reports and to hear his views on matters pertinent to his office.The current Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly, took up his appointment in January 2008. In his Interim Report , following his appointment, the Inspector stated that his tenure would be characterised by independence and fairness. In keeping with the independence of the Office as and when the Inspector considers it necessary to meet with me I am happy, where practicable, to facilitate such meetings.

My Department has a policy of meeting informally with the Inspector at regular intervals throughout the year to bring him up to date with relevant developments in penal policy. These meetings ensure that the Department and myself are kept fully informed on any issues or concerns he may have about the effective operation of the prison system.

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