Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (348)

Tony Gregory


488 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if a system of communication will be put in place whereby the prison authorities check with the appropriate Garda personnel before granting a prisoner temporary release; if the Garda will communicate with prison authorities when persons are being placed in custody in connection with whom the Garda believes there are strong grounds for not granting them temporary release; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25450/04]

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

There are procedures and channels in place for the exchange of security information between the Garda Síochána and the Irish Prison Service. This information is essential when securing background information on the nature of any particular offence and as an aid in assessing the potential threat to the community that any potential release may have. It is normal practice when a prisoner is being considered for temporary release that the Irish Prison Service will have obtained in advance the views of the appropriate Garda personnel. Clearly this intelligence information forms a significant part of the decision making process. Among the other factors considered are the length of sentence served, the person's behaviour while in custody, the recommendations of the prison governor, any compelling compassionate measures associated with the case and the level to which the person has engaged with the various therapeutic services.