Written answers

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Department of Justice and Equality

Prison Accommodation Provision

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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265. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the current number of prison spaces available for both male and female prisoners throughout the prison system; the extent to which overcrowding exists; if the provision of extra spaces is contemplated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27616/15]

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 the overall bed capacity of the Irish Prison System is 4,126. On the 7 July 2015 there were 3,776 prisoners in custody. This represents just under 92% occupancy. These figures are published daily by the Irish Prison Service on its' website www.irishprisons.ie

A full breakdown including, capacity, number in custody and percentage of bed capacity is set out in the following table as of July 7th, 2015.

InstitutionBed CapacityNumber in Custody% of Bed Capacity
Mountjoy

Campus
Mountjoy (M)55453196%
Mountjoy (F)105108103%
Training Unit9696100%
St Patrick’s 3439%
West Dublin

Campus
Cloverhill43135983%
Wheatfield55049289%
Portlaoise

Campus
Midlands87081093%
Portlaoise29121474%
Cork210232110%
Limerick (M)220235107%
Limerick (F)282382%
Castlerea34031793%
Arbour Hill14213494%
Loughan House14011985%
Shelton Abbey11510390%
Totals4,1263,77692%
The Irish Prison Service Strategy 2012 - 2015 provides for a 40 month capital programme which is being implemented to eliminate slopping out and to improve prison conditions in the older part of the prison estate. I am advised by the Irish Prison Service with the refurbishment work of the D Wing, the modernisation of Mountjoy prison is almost complete. Since the closure of the D Wing every prisoner in Mountjoy now has access to in-cell sanitation.

In relation to Cork Prison, construction of a new prison to replace the existing facility began in January, 2014 and is on course to be completed later this year.

In relation to Limerick Prison, approval has been received to advance the project to detailed design stage.

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