Written answers

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Prison Accommodation

2:00 pm

Photo of Ciarán LynchCiarán Lynch (Cork South Central, Labour)
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Question 68: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform the number of prisoners, in total and in each institution, that are locked up for 23 hours or more in a normal day; for 22 to 23 hours in a normal day; for 20 to 22 hours in a normal day; for 18 to 20 hours in a normal day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4301/11]

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Minister, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table and relates to the situation as it pertained on the 26 January, 2010.

The primary role of the Irish Prison Service is the provision of safe and secure custody for prisoners. The majority of prisoners on lock up are those who would be considered to be under threat or "at risk" in the general population due, for example, to gangland feuding, drug debts, because they gave evidence in a court case or because of the nature of their offences, e.g. those of a sexual nature.

The requirement for prisoners who request protection to be accommodated in separate areas from other identified persons from whom they may be at risk is of primary importance. In that regard a number of our prisons have significant numbers of what would be regarded as protection prisoners accommodated on separate landings. These prisoners have access to a wide regime of activities including school, workshops, gym facilities, probation and chaplaincy services.

Notwithstanding that, there is a cohort of protection prisoners who are subject to a more restricted regime. The majority of these prisoners are located in our older prisons. These prisons are not in a position to offer enhanced regimes because of constraints on space, resources, staffing levels and the number of factions which have to be kept separate from each other. Nonetheless, efforts are made on a continuous basis to reduce the numbers of protection prisoners who fall into this category and regular transfers take place to other institutions where a prisoner will not require protection.

Prison/Place of DetentionNumber in custody on 18 - 20 hour lock upNumber in custody on 20 - 22 hour lock upNumber in custody on 22- 23 hour lock upNumber in custody on 23 hours or more lock up
Arbour Hill0000
Dóchas Centre0001
Loughan House0000
Shelton Abbey0000
St. Patrick's Institution05700
Training Unit0000


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