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)
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 outlined in Parliamentary Question 156 of 8 February 2018, it proved neither practical or feasible to continue with the enquiry.
I am also advised by the Irish Prison Service that notwithstanding the legal and procedural flaws which were highlighted in the aforementioned draft operational report, some aspects were reviewed on their own merits to see if they would benefit the operation of the Prison Service. Some of these aspects were incorporated into Circular OPS 12/2011 ‘Consolidated Guidelines for Prisoners Released on Temporary Release’. This Circular was supported by the ‘Consolidated Temporary Release Procedures’ which issued in March 2012. The areas of the report which were incorporated include that prisoners should have the terms and conditions of Temporary Release explained to them, that the prisoner must acknowledge the conditions of Temporary Release and sign their Temporary Release form, the prisoner must consent to being granted a period of TR, and that a written record of the decision must be placed on the Prisoner Information and Management System.