Written Answers. - Prison Rehabilitation Programmes.

Ivor Callely

Question:

123 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Justice her views on the success or otherwise of rehabilitation programmes in our prisons; the submissions, if any, she has received in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9290/97]

There are a number of services available in the prison system which provide counselling and training to offenders with a view to their rehabilitation.

The psychology service provides a service to offenders in prison. The psychologists provide pre-release programmes for offenders, specialist treatment for sex offenders and, in general, participate in the positive management of their sentences.

The probation and welfare service provide a counselling service to offenders in prison, helping them generally to cope with their sentences and preparing them for release and their reintegration into society.

My Department, in conjunction with the vocational education committees, the Public Library Service and other outside agencies, operate an education service which offers a wide curriculum to offenders and allows them access to education while serving their sentences.

The work-training service operated by my Department provides training for offenders in different skills which meet the requirements of the modern workplace.
A chaplaincy service is also provided to offenders in custody, providing counselling not just in spiritual matters, but in everyday human activity. In addition, voluntary organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous and similar organisations visit the prisons and provide counselling and other services to prisoners.
I am satisfied that these various programmes have a significant role to play in the rehabilitation process of these offenders and help them to reintegrate into society on their release from custody. I am in receipt of the recommendations of various prisons visiting committees who, from time to time, make recommendations for improving rehabilitative facilities and services in the prisons. I adopt, where possible their particular views on this matter.

Ivor Callely

Question:

124 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Justice the normal routine of a prisoner's activity in Shelton Abbey Prison; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9291/97]

Each inmate in Shelton Abbey is obliged to rise at 8 a.m. and to have breakfast and clean his room from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Inmates work or attend at school between 9 a.m. and 12.30 p.m., have dinner from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and return to school or work from 2 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Inmates have tea between 4.30 p.m. and 5 p.m., attend school or gym from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. or recreation from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Inmates have supper between 7.30 p.m. and 8 p.m. All inmates retire to bed at 11 p.m.