Thursday, 4 May 2017
Department of Justice and Equality
64. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding allocated to open the violent and disruptive prisoner unit; the date on which it will open; the prison in which it will be located; the number of staff that will be allocated to the unit; the job titles of each; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21193/17]
I am advised by my officials of the Irish Prison Service that a unit will be established in Midlands Prison, as a national resource to manage those prisoners designated as violent and disruptive. The unit will be the first therapeutically focused unit for dealing with such prisoners and this is reflected in the joint management structure, jointly led by an Operational Governor and a Senior Psychologist, with dedicated, specifically selected and trained staff.
The current Irish Prison Service Violently Disruptive Prisoner policy, aims to:
(i) Protect staff and other persons from inmates who have a history of violent acts and who are considered to be a high risk of causing serious injury to another person and
(ii) Make efforts to intervene with inmates categorised as Violently Disruptive Prisoners to reduce their risk of violence.
From a prisoner population of approximately 3,700, there are at present four prisoners currently in custody who have been so designated.
It is envisaged that the unit will be open in the first quarter in 2018. The procurement process is underway and the appointment of a consultant is imminent. A tender competition for the building works will follow shortly afterwards. The unit will be the first therapeutically focussed unit for dealing with such prisoners and this is reflected in the joint management structure, jointly led by an Operational Governor and a Senior Psychologist, with dedicated, specifically selected and trained staff.