Thursday, 2 May 2013

Questions (199)

Bernard Durkan


199. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which prisoners serving long-term sentences in respect of first time offences have been referred for rehabilitative training and or education in their first year of incarceration in the past five years; the number of recidivistic offenders who have availed of such schemes in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21078/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Dáil Question No 185 of 6th March 2013:- "The Deputy will be aware from my replies to previous Parliamentary Questions that the statistics requested are not centrally recorded by the Irish Prison Service and to provide such information would require the allocation of a disproportionate and inordinate amount of staff time and resources.

The Irish Prison Service provides a wide range of rehabilitative programmes that include education, vocational training, healthcare, psychiatric, psychological, counselling, welfare and spiritual services. These programmes are available in all prisons and all prisoners are eligible to use the services. On committal, all prisoners are interviewed by the Governor and are informed of the services available in the prison. At this point prisoners may be referred to services or they can self refer at a later date. Where Governors consider, on the information available, that a prisoner needs a particular intervention they will initiate a referral.

The development of prisoner programmes forms a central part of the new Irish Prison Service Three Year Strategic Plan 2012 - 2015. There is a clear commitment in the Strategy to enhance sentence planning including Integrated Sentence Management and the delivery of prison based rehabilitative programmes such as education, work training and resettlement programmes".

The position remains the same as outlined above.