Written answers

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Department of Justice and Equality

Prisoner Releases

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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44. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners recalled to serve their sentences after early release; the basis for same in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7851/16]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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The legislative basis for making decisions on temporary release is fully set out in the Criminal Justice Act 1960, as amended by the Criminal Justice (Temporary Release of Prisoners) Act 2003. Temporary release is an important vehicle for re-integrating an offender into the community in a planned way.

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that any offender who breaches his or her conditions, including committing a criminal offence, may be arrested and returned to prison immediately by the Gardaí or may be refused another period of reviewable temporary release. If someone re-offends on temporary release, the matter of their prosecution is a matter for An Garda Síochána and the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider.

If the person is returned to prison to serve the remaining part of their sentence as a result of breaching their temporary release conditions, this information forms part of the consideration by the Irish Prison Service of any future temporary release decisions that are taken in respect of that offender. Behaviour on temporary release is one of the criterion to be considered as outlined in the Criminal Justice (Temporary Release of Prisoners) Act 2003. The Irish Prison Service work closely with An Garda Síochána and the Probation Service in respect of the monitoring, supervision and compliance of those on temporary release.

I am informed by the Irish Prison Service that they do not collate information in the format requested by the Deputy. However, the Irish Prison Service Recidivism study for 2009 shows that 2,304 persons out of a total of 7,509 that were released in that year went on to re-offend within the first 6 months of release. As well as offences committed after expiration of sentence,this figure also includes offences committed before their official release date and this would take account of crimes committed while on early release, day release, and compassionate release. It also includes offences committed while in custody such as assaults and possession of mobile phones.

These figures were produced in partnership with the Central Statistics Office using a combination of Garda Síochána and Irish Prison Service records, based on the Irish Crime Classification System (ICCS). The study, which was published in December 2015, looked at the available data up to the end of 2012 to take account of the time to make a conviction and a broader 3 year analysis of recidivism.


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