Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (536)

Jonathan O'Brien


548 Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the interim measures in place to improve the regime at St. Patrick’s Institution, Dublin, during the two year period while the new facility is being built at Oberstown, Lusk, County Dublin. [34839/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

The Irish Prison Service has committed in its Three Year Strategic Plan 2012-2015 to develop and implement a strategy which will seek to end the detention of 16 and 17 year old boys in St Patrick's Institution and relocate this cohort of offenders into appropriate child-friendly facilities by December, 2013. Progress has already been made as regards 16 year old male offenders and shortly there will be no such offenders held in St. Patrick's Institution.

The Prison Service is working in partnership with relevant key agencies to achieve this goal. Partner agencies include the Department of Children and Youth Affairs/Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS), the Probation Service and the Health Service Executive.

It is envisaged that the following actions will be taken as part of the Strategy:

In the period up to the end of 2013, the Irish Prison Service, in co-ordination with other relevant agencies, will risk assess and profile boys currently in detention and all new committals to St. Patrick's.

For boys remaining in St. Patrick's, the Irish Prison Service will work with their partners and other agencies to ensure that their regime is age-appropriate and that best practice is observed.

The Irish Prison Service will work closely with IYJS to ensure early development of the necessary facilities with a view to moving to end the detention of 17 year olds in St. Patrick's as soon as possible.

The Irish Prison Service will set up an oversight group with their partners and additional external representation to oversee implementation of these plans and monitor progress.

Over the lifetime of the Strategy, the Prison Service will also review the overall approach taken to the placement of 18-21 year olds.