Written answers

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Department of Justice and Equality

Prisoner Rehabilitation Programmes

Photo of Anne FerrisAnne Ferris (Wicklow, Labour)
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565. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if the prison system has engaged or assisted in recent times in any research programmes in the areas of treating challenging behaviour, self destruction, violent behaviour or mental health; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21920/15]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that it supports the delivery of two intensive therapeutic programmes (Building Better Lives Programmes) which target serious violent and sexual offending. These are located at Wheatfield Prison and Arbour Hill prison respectively. In addition the Irish Prison Service supports the collaborative work of services, including the Probation service, to provide assessment, intervention and through-care for prisoners engaged in serious offending.

The Irish Prison Service also supports the delivery of programmes to prisoners, such as Anger Management programmes and the Alternative to Violence Programme which operate in many prisons.

The Irish Prison Service continues to work with the Health Service Executive/National Forensic Mental Health Service to ensure the appropriate provision of Psychiatric services to those in custody with mental health needs in all closed prisons.

I am further advised by the Irish Prison Service that it supports and assists research which is of value to the organisation. Applications to carry out research involving prisoners are considered from an ethical perspective by the Research Officer in conjunction with the Research Advisory Panel. Applications are also evaluated under a number of criteria including; the value of the research to the Irish Prison Service (IPS), the current demands on the time and resources of locations and the current demands on particular populations in terms of time/effort and volume of research being undertaken.

The following research has been completed, is ongoing or is under consideration:

Completed and Published Research

Dr Claire Milner: The Psychology of the Life Sentence: The subjective experiences of life sentence prisoners.

Dr Danny O' Sullivan: A study of the relationship between attributional style and depressive symptoms in a prison sample.

Dr Laura Brennan: Effectiveness of group cognitive behavioural intervention in reducing anxiety in Irish prisoners: Quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Louise Doyle: A pre/post evaluation of a one day Wellness Programme on participants knowledge of and attitude towards mental health issues.

Completed Research

Impacts of incarceration and criminal behaviour of a father on the lives of sons.

Prison Officer: Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Exploring Mental Health Awareness and Attitudes of Prison Officers.

To what degree has horticulture been developed within the Irish Prison system and how can it assist in the rehabilitation of prisoners.

An analysis on the psychological impact of working in a penal institution in the Republic of Ireland.

Ongoing Research

Situating Psychopathic Discourse - A Psychoanalytic Investigation.

What Values matter to Prisoners and Staff within the Irish prison system.

The effectiveness of and Exercise Referral Programme as an intervention for prisoners with mental health problems.

Death and the Prison Officer: A study of Irish Prison Officers experience of prisoner fatalities.

Changed by the Job. Prison Officers in Ireland: Culture and Identity in Prison Work.

A qualitative exploration of the experience of a Mindfulness Based Intervention (MBSR) with prisoners in an Open facility.

Proposed Research

Cross-Cultural Suicide and Self-Injury Prison Survey–testing the Integrated Motivational–Volitional Model.


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