Friday, 16 September 2016
Department of Justice and Equality
Prison Service Strategies
144. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason there is no published strategy for young adults in prison despite commitments by the Irish Prison Service that this would be in place by the end of 2015; the reason for the delay; the steps she has taken to address the lack of action to deliver a specific regime for young adults in prison; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25650/16]
As I advised the Deputy in my reply to question 82 on 21 June 2016, the Irish Prison Service published its three year strategic plan 2012-2015 on 30 April 2012. Appended to this document is the Irish Prison Service's strategy for the management of young offenders.
I can further advise the Deputy that in regard to younger persons, since December 2013, all boys aged 17 years sentenced to detention in St. Patrick’s have been transferred to dedicated units in Wheatfield Place of Detention. The Irish Prison Service continues to engage extensively with the Irish Youth Justice Service regarding the transfer of responsibility for 17 year olds to Oberstown Campus in line with the Government decision to close St. Patrick’s Institution. The Prisons Act 2015 was passed by the Oireachtas in December 2015 and is a significant step toward the closing of St. Patrick’s Institution.
In addition the new Irish Prison Service Strategic Plan 2016-2018, published on 27 June 2016, gives the commitment that the Prison Service will work in partnership with their community partners and the relevant justice and state agencies to agree targeted measures to facilitate the rehabilitation of young offenders (with an initial focus on 18 - 21 year olds) and the effective and safe transition from custody to the community.