Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (725)

Finian McGrath

Question:

847 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of prisoners released on parole for Christmas; and the number that breached their rules and regulations during their release. [1184/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

There were a total of 307 prisoners granted varying periods of temporary release at Christmas under the Criminal Justice Act 1960. That is roughly 9% of the prisoner population. That figure corresponds almost exactly to the number released in the previous two years. The periods of release varied from a few hours, in some cases accompanied by another responsible person, up to nine nights. All releases were subject to stringent conditions, which in the vast majority of cases included a requirement to report on a regular basis to his or her local Garda station. As of today's date, ten of those persons had failed to return to custody. In each case the Prison Service has made contact with the Garda Síochána to inform it. Each of those persons can be arrested immediately and returned to prison custody.