Written Answers. - Proposed Dublin Women's Prison.

Jim Mitchell

Question:

77 Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice the changes, if any, in the past month in her plans to develop a women's prison at Cowley Place, North Circular Road, Dublin 7, on the site of the former homes of prison officers; if she is aware of the strong local opposition to another prison in the area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9004/95]

Jim Mitchell

Question:

78 Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice if she is aware of the concerns of residents in the vicinity of Mountjoy Prison, Dublin 7, in relation to the high incidence of temporary releases and the problems which they experience arising therefrom; if she will agree to meet a deputation from the local residents to discuss this matter; and her plans, if any for a new women's prison in the area. [9005/95]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 78 together.

The plans for the women's prison on the Cowley Place site are well advanced and, given the urgency of the need for it, I am not prepared to reconsider its location. I am, however, satisfied that the new prison will not, of itself, be a cause of concern to local residents, and I will be very glad to meet their representatives to reassure them on that point.

The granting of temporary release to prisoners in Mountjoy is an unavoidable part of its operation. The prison authorities endeavour to structure temporary releases, and signing on arrangements at the prison for persons on temporary release, on an orderly basis to avoid congestion in the vicinity of the prison. Furthermore, provision of improved facilities to expedite signing on procedures for such prisoners is under active consideration and such facilities will help to eliminate problems arising from prisoners signing on at the prison.