Friday, 16 September 2016
Department of Justice and Equality
145. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will remove the present basic regime standard operating in prisons here and place all young adults on the enhanced accommodation standard on entry to prison. [25651/16]
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that there are no plans to amend the current incentivised regime structure. The Incentivised Regimes Programme, introduced in 2012, provides for differentiation of privileges between prisoners according to their level of engagement with services and quality of behaviour. The objective is to provide tangible incentives to prisoners to participate in structured activities and to reinforce good behaviour, leading to a safer and more secure environment.
All prisoners enter the system on an equal basis at standard regime level. Prisoners can then work towards advancement to enhanced regime level through positive interaction with prison-based services and by demonstrating consistently good conduct. Conversely, a prisoner may be moved to basic regime level for breaches of prison discipline or consistent refusal to take part in recommended rehabilitative programmes. The Incentivised Regimes Programme provides significant motivational factors to encourage prisoners to improve their participation in productive and rehabilitative activities while in custody.
Experience in other jurisdictions has shown that a tiered incentivised regime structure is a hugely valuable addition to prisons in the context of maintaining good order, and in motivating prisoners to partake in constructive activities.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the application of the Incentivised Regimes Policy is under continuous review by the Incentivised Regimes Implementation Group. The Irish Prison Service will shortly commission an independent external review of the Incentivised Regimes Programme which will consider the ongoing effectiveness of the current policy and inform any future development of this programme.