Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (533)

Jonathan O'Brien


545 Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to ensure that replacement of outdated accommodation must not be used to expand overall prison capacity. [34836/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

The Irish Prison Service has informed me that the proposed development of a new prison in Cork on the site of the current car park and adjacent green-field site is designed to replace the existing outdated prison with modern cellular accommodation containing in-cell sanitation and showering facilities supported by a full range of ancillary services. The new prison will have an average daily capacity of circa 275 prisoners which is broadly similar to the current daily average.

The proposed demolition of the early 19th century "A" and "B" blocks in Limerick and replacement with modern accommodation and related facilities will eliminate the practice of "slopping-out" and alleviate the current overcrowding difficulties. I am informed that these developments will not increase the present capacity of Limerick prison.

The recent refurbishment of "C" Wing, the ongoing works in "B" Wing and the proposed refurbishment of the "A" and "D" Wings will finally eliminate "slopping-out" in Mountjoy prison. The re-commissioning of long disused cellular accommodation across these wings will assist in alleviating the current overcrowding in Mountjoy but is not intended to increase the current capacity of the prison.