Written Answers. - Cloverhill Prison.

Nora Owen

Question:

527 Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of remand prisoners serving in Cloverhill Prison; the capacity of the prison; if the prison is not up to full capacity, the reason therefor; and when he proposes opening the courthouse attached to this prison for full use. [7673/01]

There were 355 prisoners in Cloverhill Prison on 9 March 2001. Of these 328 were remanded in custody pending further court appearances. The balance of the population is made up of sentenced prisoners who form a work party in the prison. The prison is designed to accommodate up to 406 prisoners at any time and is now fully operational. Cloverhill is the designated committal prison for prisoners remanded by the courts in the Dublin and Leinster area. The number of prisoners accommodated there is determined by the courts who have the sole authority to remand persons in custody.

I am informed by the Courts Service that High Court bail applications are being heard in Cloverhill since 5 February 2001. Cloverhill Courthouse will be used for District Court cases as soon as the President of the District Court is in a position to assign a judge. All administrative staff have been put in place.