Written answers

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Department of Justice and Equality

Prisoner Discipline

Photo of Maureen O'SullivanMaureen O'Sullivan (Dublin Central, Independent)
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466. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of men 18 to 20, 21 to 25 and 25 plus years of age in prison who were placed under a restricted regime for punishment purposes during each of the months November 2013 to November 2015 [46533/15]

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 number of prisoners who had their regime restricted for discipline reasons from November 2013 - November 2015 was 22. The breakdown by age profile is set out in the table beneath.

As the Deputy may be aware the restriction of a prisoner's regime can occur due to a number of factors but is mainly used for the protection of vulnerable prisoners (Rule 63 of the Prison Rules 2007) and to a lesser extent for the maintenance of good order in the prison (Rule 62). There are also occasions when a prisoner may have their regime restricted for a short duration of time for operational or medical reasons(Rule 64). In addition, a small number of prisoners would, on occasion, have their regime restricted for discipline reasons (Rule 66/ Rule 67). A quarterly breakdown of prisoners on restricted regime is published on the Irish Prison Service Website ()

Table 1. Breakdown of Age Groups

Age GroupTotal
18 - 20 Years Old2
21 - 25 Years Old9
26 Years +11
Total22

The sanctions for a breach of prison discipline are set out in Section 13 (1) of the Prisons Act 2007. Section 13 (1)c sets out that a prisoner who is found by the prison Governor to have committed a breach of prison discipline may be confined in a cell (other than a special observations cell) for a period not exceeding 3 days.

The imposition of a sanction is taken following a disciplinary hearing held by the Governor under Rule 67 of the Prison Rules 2007.

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