Written Answers. - New Dublin Prison Staffing.

40.

asked the Minister for Justice the number of prison officers who will be employed in the new prison at Wheatfield, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 when it opens this summer; the stage which the recruitment process is at currently; when the new recruits will be trained; the length of time of the training course; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The 1989 Estimates provide for a net increase in prison service staffing levels of 131 staff to enable the opening of the new institution at Wheatfield, on a phased basis, from about the middle of this year.

The precise number of staff who will be assigned to Wheatfield during this year will depend on various factors including the number and profile of offenders to be accommodated there, the rate at which offenders are to be transferred there, the rate at which staff can be recruited and trained and other operational factors within the prison system.

As regards recruitment, 41 officers have already been engaged for Wheatfield from panels of qualified persons set up as a result of the last recruitment competitions. The balance of the staff required will be recruited from a new recruitment competition which the Civil Service Commission has currently underway.The closing date for this competition was 30 March last. Induction training of new recruits commences as soon as they are appointed. At present, the induction training course is of 12 weeks' duration.