Written answers

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Department of Justice, Equality and Defence

Prison Staff

9:00 pm

Photo of Terence FlanaganTerence Flanagan (Dublin North East, Fine Gael)
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Question 559: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update regarding applying integrated sentence management to prisons here; the number of new staff that will be required to help roll out delivery of this service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19910/12]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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The Irish Prison Service has developed and is implementing an Integrated Sentence Management (ISM) initiative within the prison system. ISM involves a new orientation in the delivery of services to prisoners and an emphasis on prisoners taking greater personal responsibility for their own development through active engagement with both specialist and non-specialist services in the prisons. The end result is a prisoner-centred multidisciplinary approach to working with prisoners with provision for initial assessment, goal setting and periodic review to measure progress. Newly committed prisoners with a sentence of greater than one year are eligible to take part in ISM. If they agree to participate, a First Contact Assessment interview takes place. This First Contact Assessment identifies the needs of the prisoner in several areas such as accommodation, education and offending behaviour. Referrals are made on foot of this assessment to services within the prison such as Education or Work & Training and outside agencies providing an in-reach service. These services and agencies carry out their own assessment of the prisoner and feed their recommended actions back to the ISM Co-ordinator.

The various actions recommended are compiled into a Personal Integration Plan (PIP). This is a plan of actions for the prisoner to complete during his/her time in prison. The PIP will be reviewed regularly depending on the length of the sentence. Approximately 9 months prior to the release of the prisoner, a Community Integration Plan (CIP) will be developed. This sets out a plan for the prisoner to prepare for his/her release. Important issues such as accommodation, employment or education are addressed to help the prisoner resettle into the community on release and reduce the risk of re-offending.

There are currently seven acting full time ISM Co-ordinators supporting the process in a number of prisons. It is envisaged, through staffing redeployments under the Transformation process, that dedicated ISM Co-ordinators will be assigned to all prisons in the coming months which will enhance the effectiveness of the sentence management system and facilitate the growing numbers of prisoners participating in the process.

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