Written Answers. - Juvenile Offenders.

Richard Bruton

Question:

200 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice the number of juvenile offenders committed to custodial sentences during the past 12 months; the number of custodial places available for juvenile offenders and their location.

I am in a position to provide information only in relation to institutions for which my Department have responsibility i.e. prisons and places of detention. The Department of Education are responsible for other institutions in which juvenile offenders are held.

The annual report on prisons contains statistics, by age and sentence length, on the number of persons in custody. The figures are compiled on an annual basis and the last period for which figures are available is 1988. At present statistics are being compiled for the 1989 annual report.

The institutions for young offenders operated by my Department cater for male young offenders aged 16 years and over and female offenders aged 17 years and over. In addition young offenders aged 15 and 16 may be committed to prison in accordance with the provisions of sections 97 and 102 of the Children's Act, 1908.

Custodial accommodation specifically for young males is in the places of detention at St. Patrick's Institution, Wheatfield and the open place of custody at Shanganagh Castle. The total number of custodial places available in these institutions is 514. Young female offenders are accommodated in the female prisons at Mountjoy and Limerick and the total number of custodial places available in these institutions is 61.