Written Answers. - Women's Prison Facilities.

Ivor Callely

Question:

209 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Justice the recreational facilities available to female prisoners in Mountjoy prison; the special arrangements, if any, for additional recreational facilities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1818/96]

There is a wide range of recreational facilities in place for female prisoners at Mountjoy Prison. These include a fully equipped, supervised gymnasium and an outdoor exercise area. The gymnasium is widely used by the inmates for a range of activities including exercise classes on a group and individual basis. Supervision is provided by a qualified instructor. The outdoor facility is used for basketball, netball and other activities. In addition, the prisoners have access to television and video facilities. They also engage in crafts activities and they have access to a fully stocked library. They are also encouraged to avail of a varied educational programme under the guidance of teachers from the Vocational Education Services. Recent initiatives in respect of recreation for female prisoners include swimming lessons, on a weekly basis at a facility in the community.