Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (554)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

566 Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the highest number of transfers for an individual prisoner during sentence or in a year for each of the past four years; the number of prisoners transferred more than five times; and the number of prisoners transferred more than ten times. [34857/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table below:

2008

2009

2010

2011

Highest Individual Transfers per prisoner

24

26

18

25

Number of prisoners with more than 5 transfers

165

197

277

244

Number of prisoners with more than 10 transfers

18

23

30

35

Common reasons for prisoner movements include court appearances, disruptive behaviour, conflict with other prisoners, to assist family contact, to participate in a particular training or educational course, to assist in reintegration or to alleviate overcrowding. Factors taken into account include length of sentence, nature of offence, medical needs, drug dependency, behaviour while in custody, the age of the prisoner, previous criminal record, engagement with the various services and the availability of accommodation.

Prison transfers take place on foot of administrative decisions made on my behalf. It would not be possible to operate the prison system if such transfers only took place on foot of requests from prisoners. To do so would inevitably lead to excessive overcrowding in some prisons, vacancies in others and circumstances which could lead to avoidable violent or dangerous incidents.