126. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 156 of 8 February 2018, the way in which the Circular OPS 12/2011, Consolidated Guidelines for Prisoners Released on Temporary Release, contain a reference to recommendations from a report (details supplied); and if he will make the report available to persons that had cooperated with previous enquiries into the matter. (Question 20602/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the Director General commissioned an external operational report into the circumstances surrounding the removal of a person from the Dochas Centre. A review of the draft report highlighted legal and procedural flaws in the way the enquiry was conducted and a second external investigator was appointed in an attempt to bring the enquiry to a satisfactory conclusion. Unfortunately, as was outl...

198. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if it is envisaged that transfers from the Irish Prison Service to other areas of his Department will cease upon the new reorganisation of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19903/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Prison Service Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Plans to establish the Irish Prison Service (IPS) as a scheduled office that will also incorporate administrative staff currently employed in my Department are well advanced. Under these arrangements departmental staff in Longford will transfer to the IPS under a transfer of function while staff undertaking IPS duties in Dublin will have the option of being reassigned to other divisions of my Department based in Dublin.
Thereafter, any...

156. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 545 of 16 January 2018, the legal and procedural issues that were considered incomplete in a report (details supplied); and the steps that can now be taken to conclude the issue for all parties involved in the investigation. (Question 6552/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that in June 2010, the then Director General commissioned an external operational report into the circumstances surrounding the removal of a person from the Dóchas Centre.
A review of the operational report by the current Director General highlighted some legal and procedural flaws in the manner in which the enquiry was conducted. One such difficulty was the absence of documentary evidence to s...

259. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of children born to women in custody in prisons in 2017. (Question 3013/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Irish Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Irish Prison Service has advised that 4 children were born to women in custody during 2017.
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545. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason the findings of an investigation (details supplied) initiated by a former Minister for Justice have not been provided to all parties as promised once civil litigation concluded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55024/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Irish Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that In June 2010, the then Director General of the Irish Prison Service commissioned an external enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the removal from prison of the person referred to in the Parliamentary Question.
The enquiry was carried out by a retired Prison Governor and a retired Garda Superintendent. Their operational report was submitted to the then Director General in 2011. The te...

211. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a final decision has been taken on the use of the former Mountjoy prison training unit as a facility for older prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52670/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Irish Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service has commenced planning for the repurposing of the Training Unit Place of Detention (on the Mountjoy Prison Campus) to a dedicated Unit for older prisoners.
A key action of the current Irish Prison Service Strategic Plan (Action 2.5) is to ensure that older prisoners are identified as a specific group who have particular needs within the prison population. There are currently a numb...

10. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 233 and 234 of 10 October 2017, his plans to rethink his strategy regarding women in respect of the building of a larger prison facility and the promotion of step-down facilities rather than non-custodial alternatives and supported independent living. (Question 44225/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Prison Service Strategies)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question arises on foot of previous parliamentary questions I have submitted regarding our attitude to penal policy in the context of the incarceration of women. I have concerns about the fact that the Minister is investing resources in larger facilities for women prisoners. While everybody agrees that there needs to be a new facility in Limerick, why does it have to be so big? Why are we putting resources into step-down facilities and where is the evidence that this i...

233. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the work or strategic planning that is underway to develop a non custodial approach for women offenders in view of the proven success of such models in reducing recidivism. (Question 42383/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Irish Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): There are a number of initiatives that have been taken in the area of female offenders who comprise a relatively small group within the criminal justice system in Ireland. 
The Report of the Penal Policy Review Group published in September 2014 proposed alternatives to custodial sentences as the first choice of sanction. Chapter 6 of the Report is dedicated to the specific needs of female offenders. Work is underway to progress the...

234. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his strategy to develop an open prison for women as an alternative to overcrowding in the Dóchas centre and Limerick women’s prison. (Question 42384/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Prison Service Strategies)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I wish to advise the Deputy that in the joint Probation Service/Irish Prison Service Women’s Strategy 2014 - 2016, An Effective Response to Women Who Offend, published in 2014, the Irish Prison Service made a commitment to explore the development of an open centre/open conditions for women assessed as low risk of re-offending.
This commitment was acknowledged in the Report on the Strategic Review of Penal Policy which also recommended ...

317. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the date on which a planned review of the Irish Prison Service’s national incentivised regimes policy will be completed; the tendering process of this review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39277/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the Incentivised Regimes Policy was introduced on a phased basis across all prisons in 2012 and is now operational in all institutions. The Incentivised Regimes Policy, 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 str...

460. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he plans to conduct a review of the Irish Prison Service’s national incentivised regimes policy; the tendering process of this review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35209/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the Incentivised Regimes Policy was introduced on a phased basis across all prisons in 2012 and is now operational in all institutions. The Incentivised Regimes Programme 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 s...

461. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person who is rejected for employment in the Irish Prison Service on mental health grounds may seek and submit a second opinion as part of his or her appeal of that decision; and if not, the reason therefor. (Question 35215/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Prison Service Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can advise the Deputy that I have been informed by the Irish Prison Service that there is an automatic internal medical review of medical evidence of a candidate who is deemed medically unfit at pre-employment and candidates are free to submit additional medical evidence as part of their original job application. There is no appeal mechanism around pre-employment assessments.
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281. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedures in place for dealing with family visits of life sentence prisoners with reference to the account taken of the psychological impact on children of long term estrangement and lack of physical contact with a parent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32177/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that its Strategic Plan 2016-2018 sets out the commitment of the Irish Prison Service to strengthen family supports to facilitate on-going contact with prisoners, including those serving life sentences, while in custody and their reintegration post release, with appropriate supports and programmes. 
The Director General of the Irish Prison Service established the Families & Imprisonment Group, a...

667. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will raise with the British and Northern Irish authorities the question of whether they are committed to the August 2010 agreement regarding a prison (details supplied). (Question 26682/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Prison Service)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Government remains committed to supporting the implementation of the August 2010 agreement at Maghaberry Prison and my predecessor raised this matter with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and with the then Northern Ireland Minister for Justice. The 2014 Stocktake report on conditions in the separated regime in Maghaberry makes clear that not all the principles agreed between prison management and prisoners in 2010 had...

60. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 110 to 112, inclusive, of 27 September 2016, if a circular or guidance document exists regarding the way in which scores should be accumulated at interview; if written evidence is kept as to the way in which a particular score out of 100 is arrived at during the interview process; and, if so, if a person (details supplied) will be supplied with such written evidence. (Question 29081/16 asked on 06 Oct 2016 - Irish Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can advise the Deputy the terms and conditions of the competition for Chief Officer II (Work and Training) were set out in the Circular which was published at the outset of the competition. The Interview board were briefed in advance of the interview stage and provided with the relevant scoring sheet. The awarding of marks in any interview process is a matter for the interview board conducting the interview, as was t...

110. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 77 of 16 September 2016, if, in the last round of recruitment for chief officer 2 - work and training in the Irish Prison Service, every person awarded a mark of at least five out of ten for each competency following assessment of their application forms by the interview board was automatically offered an interview. (Question 26952/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Irish Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 to 112, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that its recent competition for Chief Officer 2 (Work and Training) involved a short-listing stage under which, in order for candidates to progress to the next stage, a minimum mark of 5 had to be achieved under each of the 5 competencies and that failure to meet the minimum mark in any particular competency would r...

111. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 77 of 16 September 2016, if some individuals who scored a mark of at least five out of ten for each competency following assessment of their application forms by the interview board in the last round of recruitment for chief officer 2 - work and training in the Irish Prison Service, were offered an interview for the role only after email correspondence with the Irish Prison Service in which those individuals pointed out that they had not been offered interviews despite having the necessary scores. (Question 26953/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Irish Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 to 112, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that its recent competition for Chief Officer 2 (Work and Training) involved a short-listing stage under which, in order for candidates to progress to the next stage, a minimum mark of 5 had to be achieved under each of the 5 competencies and that failure to meet the minimum mark in any particular competency would r...

112. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 77 of 16 September 2016, if written records are kept of the scores awarded at interview for the chief officer 2 - work and training in the Irish Prison Service, including evidence of the way in which cumulative scores for each competency are arrived at. (Question 26954/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Irish Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 to 112, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that its recent competition for Chief Officer 2 (Work and Training) involved a short-listing stage under which, in order for candidates to progress to the next stage, a minimum mark of 5 had to be achieved under each of the 5 competencies and that failure to meet the minimum mark in any particular competency would r...

77. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the scoring structure used in assessing applications for recruitment to chief officer 2 - work and training in the Irish Prison Service. (Question 24969/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Irish Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): All internal promotional competitions held by the Irish Prison Service are carried out in line with the Code of Practice issued by the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA). This Code provides that “appointments are made following a competitive, merit-based selection process in which all candidates have been treated equally at each stage” and that “decisions taken throughout the selection process are based o...

92. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views on the production of a code of ethics for the Irish Prison Service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 25033/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Irish Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service published its Strategic Plan 2016 - 2018 “Creating a Better Environment” on 27 June 2016. The aim of the Strategic Plan is to create a better environment in the Service by developing and progressing four key actions: Staff Support, Prisoner Support, Victim Support and Enhancing Organisation Capacity. In building the Strategy the Irish Prison Service was cognisant o...

95. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the steps she has taken in relation to relocating the Irish Prison Service headquarters from Longford in order to improve the organisation of the service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 25036/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Irish Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can inform the Deputy that there are no plans to relocate the Irish Prison Service Headquarters from Longford. 
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104. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views regarding initiatives she has taken in relation to the possibility of converting some of the countries prisons to low security status, particularly for women prisoners, in view of the fact that the overwhelming majority of prisons are of closed medium security; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 25051/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Prison Service Strategies)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that it has made a commitment to explore the development of an open centre/open conditions for women assessed as low risk of re-offending. This commitment was acknowledged in the Report on the Strategic Review of Penal Policy which also recommended a greater focus on step down facilities, supported accommodation, the use of more community based open conditions for female offender...

144. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and 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. (Question 25650/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Prison Service Strategies)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): 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 be...

145. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and 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. (Question 25651/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): 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 r...

148. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the percentage of each prison population detained in shared-cell accommodation for each of the years 2013 to 2016 to date. (Question 25654/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Prison Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 to 151, inclusive, together.
I am advised that in relation to the average time spent by prisoners on 23 hour lock up and the maximum number of days, this information is not collated centrally and would require a manual examination of a large number of individual files. Such an examination would require a disproportionate and inordinate amount of staff time and effort that could not b...