Anti-Social Behaviour

Questions (194)

Finian McGrath

Question:

194. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on anti-social behaviour in an area (details supplied) in Dublin 3. [26302/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the matter referred to by the Deputy. I will contact the Deputy directly as soon as the report is to hand.

Anti-Racism Measures

Questions (195)

Finian McGrath

Question:

195. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding an incident of racism. [26314/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I sympathise with the person who has written to the Deputy about the problem of racism which she has encountered and I fully share her view on the need to use every effort to combat this. Racism such as is evidenced here is completely unacceptable and a source of serious concern to me. In my Presidency capacity at EU level during the first six months of this year, I very specifically raised this issue with my EU Ministerial colleagues with a view to establishing a mechanism to better support protection of fundamental rights and the Rule of Law in Member States by sharing best practice, monitoring standards and formulating appropriate recommendations and guidelines for action across the Union as an effective response to this problem.

The Programme for Government contains a commitment that we will promote policies which integrate minority ethnic groups in Ireland, and which promote social inclusion, equality, diversity and the participation of immigrants in the economic, social, political and cultural life of their communities. A significant level of activity is taking place in pursuit of this commitment. A number of key departments and agencies have developed specific strategies to ensure that their services respond to Ireland’s changed demographic in an interculturally competent and inclusive manner. The strategies developed include: an Intercultural Health Strategy; an Intercultural Education Strategy; a Cultural and Arts Policy and Strategy; the Garda Síochána Diversity Strategy; and an Action Strategy for Integrated Workplaces.

The Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration has responsibility for leading and coordinating work relating to the integration of legally resident immigrants. The Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration continues to work with many sectors including An Garda Síochána, local authorities, sporting bodies, Government Departments, the social partners and broader civil society including cultural and ethnic minorities, to further progress the integration and diversity management agenda.

Funding has been provided to a number of local authorities around the country and local programmes have been undertaken to educate the public on issues such as immigration, integration and anti-racism. For example, Dublin City Council ran an anti-racism campaign on the Dublin transport system in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 using funding provided by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration. Dublin City Council also support a number of festivals supporting diversity such as the Chinese New Year and the Indian Diwali 'festival of lights'.

The Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration also provided support to an NGO called Show Racism the Red Card to run a creative competition for school children in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Funding was also provided to the Holocaust Educational Trust for educational initiatives that teach children the dangers of racism and the importance of integration and tolerance. Further details of the work done by this Office in the area of managing diversity and combatting racism including details of the funding granted to promote integration between the established and immigrant communities is available at www.integration.ie.

The Garda Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office is also constantly working through community engagement to urge people to come forward and report any suspected racist crime to their local Gardaí. It advises the public about the existence of Ethnic Liaison Officers and also of the services available to victims of hate crime at the Garda Racial Intercultural and Diversity Office. The services of Ethnic Liaison Officers are advertised on the Garda website and appointed officers are named with details of their station.

The Deputy's correspondent may also wish to consult the links on the website at http://www.integration.ie/ where she will note the many non-governmental organisations active in this field. She might also consider bringing her concerns and ideas to the attention of one or more of such bodies.

Prisoner Numbers

Questions (196)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

196. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons in prison; the number in each institution; the total number of prisoners not held in single cells or rooms; the number of these in each institution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26320/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The average number of prisoners in custody in Ireland has risen in the last 5 years, from 3,321 during 2007 to 4,318 during 2012, an increase of over 30%. Likewise the total number of committals to prison has also risen sharply during the same period, from 11,934 in 2007 to 17,026 in 2012 – an increase of over 43%.

Given the current number of prisoners in custody - 4,254 on 28 May 2013 - the Irish Prison Service is not in a position to provide single cell accommodation to all prisoners. Single cell occupancy across the system would result in a bed capacity of less than 3,000 and would not be possible to achieve without releasing sizeable numbers of prisoners considered to represent a threat to public safety.

In addition it should be borne in mind that in some cases prisoners are housed together for reasons other than lack of capacity. Family members, friends and co-accused prisoners often elect or are assigned a shared cell. Shared cell accommodation can be very beneficial from a management point of view particularly for those who are vulnerable and at risk of self-harm. There will always be a need for certain prisoners to be accommodated together.

As outlined in the Irish Prison Service Three Year Strategic Plan, it is intended to align the capacity of our prisons with the guidelines laid down by the Inspector of Prisons by 2014, in so far as this is compatible with public safety and the integrity of the criminal justice system. In 2012 and in the first quarter of this year, priority was be given to reducing the chronic overcrowding in Mountjoy, Cork, Limerick Prisons and the Dóchas Centre.

The information requested by the Deputy is set out on the table below and is reflective of the information available on 28 May 2013.

Institution

In custody

 Single cells/rooms

Prisoners not in single cells/rooms

Arbour Hill

143

84

59

Castlerea

349

144

205

Cloverhill

419

51

368

Cork

225

42

183

Dochas

140

68

72

Limerick

237

78

159

Loughan

135

82

53

Midlands

746

324

422

Mountjoy (Male)

528

324

204

Portlaoise

258

178

80

Shelton

110

37

73

St Patricks Institution

155

155

n/a

Training Unit

112

80

32

Wheatfield

697

211

486

Total

4254

1858

2396

Prison Accommodation Standards

Questions (197)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

197. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners in total and in each institution that are at present in custody; the number required to slop out; the number required to use normal toilet facilities in the presence of others; the number that are sole occupants of a cell that has normal flush toilet installed or have access at all times to normal toilet facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26321/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to assure the Deputy that the Government is committed to the elimination of slopping out in all prisons and places of detention. As you are aware I published the Irish Prison Service Three Year Strategic Plan in April 2012. The Plan includes a 40 month capital plan to provide in-cell sanitation in all cells and radically improve prison conditions in the older part of the prison estate.

I am pleased to note that the number of prisoners currently slopping out has decreased by over 32% in the past 12 months from 836 to 565 and will reduce further to 360 in September this year when the D Division in Mountjoy closes for refurbishment.

This refurbishment project, which forms part of the 40 month Capital Plan, includes the installation of in-cell sanitation to all cells in Mountjoy Prison. You will be aware that the C and B wings were completed in 2012 and work on the A wing is due for completion in September this year. As I have said, slopping out will finally end in Mountjoy Prison, later this year, when work on the final wing, the D wing, commences.

In addition, construction of a new prison in Cork, on the site of the current car park and adjacent green-field site will also commence this year. This new prison will have a capacity of 275 and will 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 construction of a new wing at Limerick Prison, to replace the outdated A and B Wings, also forms part of the 40 month capital plan and the tender process for this project is expected to commence in June.

You will be aware that a new accommodation block for in the Midlands Prison was opened in December 2012. The opening of this new accommodation block has allowed the Prison Service to reduce the capacity of both Cork and Limerick Prisons resulting in the closure of the antiquated B wing of Limerick Prison.

In May 2013, approximately 86% or 3,668 of the prisoners in custody across the prison system had access to in-cell sanitation or had access to normal toilet facilities at all times. A detailed breakdown is set out in the following table.

The following table refers to the information requested as at 28th May, 2013

Institution

No. in Custody

No. of prisoners who

are required to

slop-out

No. of prisoners who are required to use normal toilet facilities in the presence of others

No. of prisoners that are sole occupants of a cell with normal flush toilet installed or have access at all times to normal toilet facilities

Arbour Hill

143

Nil

59

84

Castlerea

349

Nil

203

146

Cloverhill

419

Nil

364

55

Cork

225

222

Nil

3

Dochas*

140

Nil

Nil

59       

Limerick

237

46

100

91

Loughan

135

Nil

75

60

Midlands

746

Nil

399

347

Mountjoy (Male)**

528

193

68

260

Portlaoise

258

58

49

151

Shelton

110

Nil

Nil

110

St Patrick's Institution

155

Nil

Nil

155

Training Unit

112

16

Nil

96

Wheatfield

697

Nil

542

155

Total

4254

535

1,859

1,772

*Difference relates to those in shard cells with access to toilet facilities. (-81)

**Difference relates to 7 prisoners sharing two cells with a private toilet in each cell. (-7)

Total difference in figures = 88

Prison Regulations

Questions (198)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

198. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners in total and in each institution that are locked up for 23 hours or more in a normal day, for 22 to 23 hours in a normal day, for 20 to 22 hours in a normal day, for 18 to 20 hours in a normal day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26322/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

It has not been possible, within the timeframe available, to collate the information required by the Deputy. I will contact the Deputy directly when the information is to hand.

Prisoner Numbers

Questions (199)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

199. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of male and female prisoners under 21 years of age; the number in each of the institutions in which they are held; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26323/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to inform the Deputy that the total number of persons under 21 years of age in prison custody on 27 May, 2013 was 274. This figure is made up of 273 males and 1 female. Their location is set out in the following table.

Establishment Name

Number of prisoners

Castlerea Prison

20

Cloverhill Remand Prison

8

Cork Prison

19

Limerick Prison (Male)

10

Limerick Prison (Female)

1

Loughan House

3

Midlands Prison

21

Mountjoy Prison (Male)

7

Portlaoise Prison

8

Shelton Abbey

2

St Patrick's Institution (17 year olds)

20

St Patrick's Institution

137

The Training Unit

1

Wheatfield Prison

17

Total

274

As the above figures illustrate, a significant percentage (57%) of prisoners in this age category are detained in St Patrick's Institution which is the State's designated committal institution for males aged 17 to 21 years of age and accommodates both remand and sentenced prisoners. Of the 274 in question 20 were under the age of 18 and were accommodated in a special unit (B Division) of St. Patrick's Institution. The unit has a bed capacity of 44 and is self-contained. This has created an enhanced regime for under -18s, with communal dining.

The balance of persons in the other institutions are generally located in those places in order to facilitate family visits or to assist in their reintegration back into the community.

Prison Education Service

Questions (200)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

200. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of workshop and work training posts that are vacant in each prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26324/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the following table shows the existing vacancies for workshop and work training posts in each Prison:

Prison

Vacancies

Arbour Hill

7

Castlerea

8

Cloverhill

3

Cork

6

Dochas

5

Limerick

10

Loughan House

1

Midlands

24

Mountjoy

11

Portlaoise

14

Shelton Abbey

2

St. Patrick's Institution

2

Training Unit

2

Wheatfield

19

Many of these vacant posts are currently being filled by officers 'acting-up' to the role. Vacancies are in the process of being filled by a combination of redeployment of Clerks under the Croke Park Agreement and a competition for promotion to Work Training Officer will be held in the coming weeks.

The Irish Prison Service places a strong emphasis on improving prisoners’ employability prospects through work training activities and accredited vocational training courses.

A wide range of training workshops operate within the institutions e.g. printing, computers, braille, woodwork, metalwork, construction, industrial cleaning, crafts and horticulture. There are over 100 workshops and service activities across the prison estate. In March, the latest month for which statistics are available, an average of over 1,100 prisoners engaged in these vocational training activities and courses each day - just over 26% of the average prison population in that month.

The Irish Prison Service has also been expanding the number of accredited courses and opportunities available to prisoners in Work Training in recent years. Enhanced partnership arrangements with accrediting bodies such as City and Guilds, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), and the Guild of Launders and Cleaners and the centralising of coordination and quality assurance arrangements have enabled us to extend the number of available courses and activities with certification.

The Irish Prison Service now has over 100 qualifications available across 20 skill sets. The numbers of prisoners participating in accredited vocational training courses has increased from 314 in 2007 to 1,459 in 2012 and 1,030 prisoners received certificates in the last year.

Prisoner Rehabilitation Programmes

Questions (201)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

201. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of hours the library in each prison is scheduled to open each week; the percentage of scheduled opening times that these libraries were actually open during 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26325/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The number of hours the library in each prison is scheduled to be open is set out in the table under. The libraries for Arbour Hill, Dóchas, Mountjoy, Shelton, St. Patrick's and the Training Unit are open as the demand requires.

PRISON

Scheduled Opening Hours

(per week)

% hours open

January - December 2012

Arbour Hill

On demand

As required

Castlerea

27.5

25 (Est.)

Cloverhill

35.5

38

Cork

31.25

86

Dochas

On demand

As required

Limerick

22

60 (Est.)

Loughan House

7.5

100

Midlands*

39

33.4

Mountjoy

20

46.5

Portlaoise C Block

30

100

Portlaoise E Block

20

100

Shelton Abbey

8

100

St. Patrick's Institution

On demand

As required

Training Unit

On demand

As required

Wheatfield East Wing

35

100

Wheatfield

16

59

* During 2012 the Librarian position in the Midlands prison was vacant.

Libraries in prisons are regarded by prison management as key elements in the process of normalisation and rehabilitation for prisoners. Library services in prisons are mainly provided by Local Authority library personnel deployed to prisons. In some cases, libraries are managed by prison officers or prisoners, with professional librarian oversight. While it is the case that a shortfall in staffing numbers on a particular day can impact negatively on service provision, the Irish Prison Service are actively pursuing the option of having all libraries in prisons managed by long-term, suitably trained prisoners, with professional oversight in order to maximise the service.

Prison Education Service

Questions (202)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

202. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the allocations within the education subhead of the prison Vote to each of the following areas of education in 2013: the education unit in each prison, each public library service involved in prisons, the Open University, the National College of Art and Design, Arts Council projects in prison, the Alternative to Violence Project and post-release educational support for prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26327/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The allocations within the education subhead of the prison vote to each of the following areas of education in 2013 are as follows:

Education Unit in each Prison

2013

Arbour Hill

    23,000

Castlerea

    51,000

Cloverhill

    29,000

Cork

    40,000

Dóchas

    38,000

Limerick

    49,000

Loughan Hse

    31,000

Midlands

    90,000

Mountjoy

    55,000

Portlaoise

    60,000

Shelton Abbey

    28,000

St.Patrick's

    52,000

Training Unit

    21,000

Wheatfield

    80,000

TOTAL

  647,000

Teacher's salaries are funded by the Department of Education and Skills who currently provide an allocation of 220 whole-time teacher equivalents to the prisons through the VECs.

LIBRARIES  2013

Salaries

Stock

(Fixed Cost)

Dublin Prison Libraries

                156,824

Midlands

Vacancy

Portlaoise

Vacancy

Castlerea

Vacancy

Limerick

Vacancy

Shelton

                  10,000

Loughan

                    8,158

Cork

                         -  

TOTALS

                174,982

            48,675

ALL COSTS LIBRARY

           223,657

The Librarian salary costs are fixed as set out in the table, the final allocation in respect of library stock will be available following a review of library service provision in each prison.

-

2013

HOPE Project, Cork

    17,000

Dillons Cross

    10,000

Alternatives to Violence

     7,000

National College of Art & Design

          -  

ARTS Council

    23,000

Open University

  100,000

Education Units in prisons are involved in the development and implementation of a wide variety of courses catering for the needs and interests of prisoners. While Open University courses represent the higher end of academic achievement in prisons, the majority of courses on offer lead to certification, mainly State examinations or FETAC accreditation.

The allocation for the Open University is € 100,000, this is a demand led service subject to a uniform application procedure with associated guidelines where prisoners demonstrate by proven academic ability that they can complete a third level course of study.

Prison Education Service

Questions (203)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

203. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners actively following a course with the Open University at the present time, in each institution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26328/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Education Unit in each of the prisons offers a broad and flexible programme of education to prisoners, ranging from basic literacy classes to Open University courses. With regard to Open University, there is a uniform application procedure with associated guidelines and prisoners must demonstrate the proven academic ability required to complete a third level course of study, prior to funding being approved.

Education Units in prisons are involved in the development and implementation of a wide variety of courses catering for the needs and interests of prisoners. While Open University courses represent the higher end of academic achievement in prisons, the majority of courses on offer lead to certification, mainly State examinations or FETAC accreditation.

The number of prisoners actively following a course with the Open University at the present time, in total and in each institution is set out in the table under.

Open University

2013

Arbour Hill

          12

Castlerea

            6

Cloverhill

          -  

Cork

            1

Dóchas

            3

Limerick

          -  

Loughan Hse

            1

Midlands

          11

Mountjoy

          -  

Portlaoise

            5

Shelton Abbey

            1

St.Patrick's

          -  

Training Unit

            3

Wheatfield

            6

TOTAL

          49

Prisoner Numbers

Questions (204)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

204. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans, in the interest of transparency, to publish on the Irish Prison Service website the numbers in custody in each institution on a daily basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26330/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to inform the Deputy that with effect from 4 June 2013 the number of prisoners in custody will be published on the prison service website www.irishprisons.ie on a daily basis excluding weekends and bank holidays, numbers for those days will be published the next working day.

Prison Regulations

Questions (205)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

205. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners in each institution who are diagnosed as on an enhanced regime, a standard regime or a basic regime, under the new incentivised regime arrangements; the weekly gratuity paid in each of these three categories; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26331/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that Incentivised Regimes were introduced on a phased basis across all prisons in 2012. Incentivised Regimes provides for a differentiation of privileges between prisoners according to their level of engagement with services and quality of behaviour. The objective is to provide tangible incentives to prisoners to participate in structured activities and to reinforce good behaviour, leading to a safer and more secure environment. The weekly gratuity is paid at the following rates: Basic €6.65, Standard €11.90 and Enhanced €15.40.

The table following show the number of prisoners at each level broken down by institution on 27 May, 2013.

Institution

Basic

Standard

Enhanced

Arbour Hill

0

3

140

Castlerea

13

163

176

Cloverhill

8

290

119

Cork

2

135

88

Dochas

0

80

58

Limerick

4

169

67

Loughan House

0

2

126

Midlands

11

270

461

Mountjoy

24

250

255

Portlaoise

11

35

152

Shelton Abbey

0

0

107

St. Patrick's

5

86

65

Training Unit

0

15

99

Wheatfield

34

357

307

Restorative Justice

Questions (206)

Tom Fleming

Question:

206. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on the restorative justice programme that was introduced on a statutory basis for the first time in the Children Act 2001; his views on the success of the rolling out of the two restorative justice initiatives that were provided in the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26340/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The delivery of restorative justice approaches are primarily a matter for the Irish Youth Justice Service strategic partners - An Garda Síochána and the Young Persons Division of the Probation Service. Restorative justice in the context of youth crime was introduced on a statutory basis for the first time in the Children Act 2001, as amended. There are two restorative justice initiatives provided for in the Act: a restorative conference or restorative caution included in the Garda Diversion Programme and a court-ordered restorative justice family conference delivered through the Probation Service.

An Garda Síochána use Restorative Justice processes in the delivery of the Diversion Programme under Part IV of the Children Act, 2001, as amended. Garda Juvenile Liaison Officers (JLOs) are trained as Restorative Justice Practitioners and in Mediation Skills. The latest Annual Report of the Committee to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Diversion Programme indicates that JLOs dealt with over 900 cases using a restorative justice approach where a crime was committed by a young person. In addition since 2010, the report indicates that eight 8 JLOs qualified as trainers in restorative practices and collaborated with local communities and other agencies, in particular, the Probation Service in delivering training and developing restorative practice communities. Restorative Justice philosophy has also been introduced to Garda Youth Diversion Projects which are managed by the Irish Youth Justice Service and operate on the basis of a strategic partnership between IYJS, An Garda Síochána and community based organisations. Since 2011, facilitator skills training in Restorative Justice has been rolled out to Youth Justice Workers working in the projects.This training programme is ongoing during 2013.

Young Persons Probation (YPP) works within the Children Courts nationally to implement all relevant requirements of the Children Act 2001, (as amended) in particular Part 8 (Probation family conference) and Part 9 (orders relating to community supervision) of the Act.

All Young Persons Probation staff have been trained in the preparation, delivery and action planning/monitoring which are essential to the Probation family conference (Part 8 of the Children Act 2001 as amended). Conferences are convened at the request of the Courts within 28 days and subject to the satisfactory production and completion of the action plan, there is an option for full diversion from the Criminal Justice system. The Probation Service in conjunction with its partner agencies has also introduced and consolidated a number of Restorative Practices/approaches in the management of court ordered supervision in the community and more infrequently supervision following a period of detention. These include, victim awareness/empathy work, Restorative conferences (not court ordered but part of supervision contract with young person and parent), Victim Impact Panels which include community volunteers and Victim/Offender Mediation. YPP staff have received accredited training in Restorative Practices and the majority of dedicated staff are now up skilled in this area. This training is frequently provided on an interagency basis.

While I am satisfied with the work undertaken to date and the ongoing developments in the roll out of restorative justice initiatives, I will continue to monitor the impact of these latest developments in conjunction with the criminal justice agencies involved, and the results will be taken on board in considering future developments in this area.

Spent Convictions Legislation

Questions (207)

Dara Calleary

Question:

207. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 will be initiated; if a person who was convicted of cannabis possession in 2005 will have their conviction spent under the Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26346/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

In relation to the timeframe for the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012, I would refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 210 of 22 May 2013, copy under.

As regards a conviction for the possession of cannabis, the Bill's provisions are based on the sentence imposed rather than on the offence committed. Sentences of 12 months or less are covered by the Bill and the longest rehabilitation period is 5 years. There is a limit of 2 on the number of convictions that may become spent and the spent convictions regime does not apply where the person is applying for certain employments or licences.

The Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 is awaiting Report Stage in the Dáil. It has passed all stages in the Seanad. The Bill is intended to work in harmony with the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012. However, elements of that Act concerning the disclosure of convictions are under review at present having regard to a recent judgment of the UK Court of Appeal in (On the Application of) T and others v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester [2013]. The Court considered the circumstances in which it is appropriate to disclose convictions for minor offences with particular regard to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. While the judgment concerns legislation that differs from the 2012 Act and the proposed Bill, I take the view that the legal principles identified by the Court in relation to the application of Article 8 merit consideration.

In the event that some modifications are required to the 2012 Act my intention is to bring them forward by way of amendment to the Bill and to make any consequential changes to the Bill itself that are required to ensure that the two regimes work in harmony. Until this work is complete I am not in a position to give an indication of the likely timing of Report Stage. However, I am conscious of the importance of the Bill to the reintegration of offenders and I will endeavour to ensure that there is no undue delay.

Court Accommodation Refurbishment

Questions (208)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

208. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the plans there are to upgrade and-or improve a court house (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26351/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service. The Act provides that the Service is independent in the performance of its functions, including the maintenance and provision of courthouse facilities. However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that there are currently no plans to upgrade the courthouse in Donegal Town.

Asylum Applications

Questions (209)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

209. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed by a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath who has two dependent children and who wishes to be reunited with their son's father, currently a British citizen, who has recently made an application for asylum which is on appeal in the High Court; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26352/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order and her son is the subject of a Judicial Review in relation to his asylum application. The matter is therefore sub judice.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Prison Policies

Questions (210, 212)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

210. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the incentives, excluding new gratuity rates, that have been made available to underpin the incentivised regimes policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26434/13]

View answer

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

212. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if individual incentivised regime policies have been introduced in each prison; if he will detail these individual policies; the number of prisoners involved in these policies in each prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26436/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 and 212 together.

I can inform the Deputy that the Incentivised Regimes Policy was introduced on a phased basis across all prisons in 2012. Incentivised Regimes provides for a differentiation of privileges between prisoners according to their level of engagement with services and quality of behaviour. The objective is to provide tangible incentives to prisoners to participate in structured activities and to reinforce good behaviour, leading to a safer and more secure environment. There are three levels of privilege - basic, standard and enhanced.

Each prison has developed an information booklet on how the scheme operates and specifically on the criteria and privileges associated with each level of regime.

The standard set of core privileges provided in each prison comprises of different levels of daily gratuity ranging from €0.95 to €2.20, the number and length of visits a prisoner is allowed to receive and the number of telephone calls a prisoner is allowed to make. Each prison has drawn up a list of privileges available under each regime level. The list of available privileges is likely to vary between prisons and within different areas of a prison, depending on the operational and infrastructure requirements of each prison. Examples of other incentives offered include improved accommodation ( e.g. move from dormitory accommodation to a single cell in an open centre, move to a cell with in-cell sanitation), access to facilities such as DVD player, games consoles, etc, and access to employment opportunities within the prison e.g. kitchens, laundries etc.

The table following shows the number of prisoners at each level broken down by institution on 27 May, 2013.

Institution

Basic

Standard

Enhanced

Arbour Hill

0

3

140

Castlerea

13

163

176

Cloverhill

8

290

119

Cork

2

135

88

Dochas

0

80

58

Limerick

4

169

67

Loughan House

0

2

126

Midlands

11

270

461

Mountjoy

24

250

255

Portlaoise

11

35

152

Shelton Abbey

0

0

107

St. Patrick's

5

86

65

Training Unit

0

15

99

Wheatfield

34

357

307

Prison Staff

Questions (211)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

211. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of officers that have been made available to integrated sentence management in each prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26435/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Irish Prison Service is implementing an Integrated Sentence Management (ISM) initiative within the prison system. ISM involves a new orientation in the delivery of services to prisoners and an emphasis on prisoners taking greater personal responsibility for their own development through active engagement with both specialist and non-specialist services in the prisons. The end result is a prisoner-centred, multidisciplinary approach to working with prisoners with provision for initial assessment, goal setting and periodic review to measure progress.

Over 1,000 new prisoners participated in ISM in 2012. At the end of April this year there were over 2,300 current and active cases and over a thousand prisoners had sentence plans in place at that time.

Currently 16 ISM Co-ordinators are in place in 10 institutions as set out in the table underneath. The staff concerned are made up of redeployments and others who are functioning on an acting basis into the roles. It is envisaged that, through further redeployments and a forthcoming internal competition, full time ISM Co-ordinators will be assigned to all prisons in the coming months. Having a dedicated team of ISM Co-ordinators in all prisons will enhance the effectiveness of the sentence management system and facilitate the growing numbers of prisoners participating in the process. A complement of over 20 ISM Co-ordinator posts have been identified to date, through the Transformation process, to provide vital coordination and support for the initiative at prison level.

Institution

No.

Arbour Hill

1

Castlerea

2

Cloverhill

2

Dochas

2

Loughan House

1

Portlaoise

1

Midlands

2

Mountjoy

2

Training Unit

1

Wheatfield

2

Total

16

Question No. 212 answered with Question No. 210.

Drugs in Prisons

Questions (213)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

213. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide details of the review carried out in 2012 by the Irish Prison Service of its drug treatment policy; the policies it produced; the extent to which those policies have been implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26437/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy may be aware that an agreed Drug Treatment Clinical Policy document was first issued by the Irish Prison Service in 2008. It was reviewed during 2012 to ensure that the Irish Prison Service continued to match best practice in the community, insofar as is possible in the prison setting and within the context of the current budgetary constraints. The policy was examined in detail by a multidisciplinary group, including representatives from community, voluntary and statutory stakeholders, and Irish Prison Service healthcare staff. It was amended to reflect changes in legislation and practice in the community, including the statutory requirements in relation to HIV testing and notification, and the development of In Reach services for the treatment of Hepatitis C.

The Drug Treatment Clinical Policy now encompasses the following:

- Addiction Treatment Charter;

- Clinical Interdisciplinary Care Planning;

- Psychosocial Supports and Pharmacological Interventions for Opoid Dependence;

- Drug Testing;

- Dispensing and Administration of Methadone;

- Viral Screening;

- Immunisation Guidelines;

- Assessment and Treatment of Benzodiazepine Addiction;

- Assessment and Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawals;

- Cocaine Treatment Policy; and

- Nicotine Replacement Therapy Policy.

The Irish Prison Service will continue to implement the policies set out ensuring that its drug treatment services reflect best practice insofar as is possible. The Deputy may also wish to note that the Irish Prison Service has recently conducted a review of its existing Drug Treatment programmes and has developed proposals to reorient and extend its drug treatment options.

Garda Retirements

Questions (214)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

214. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason he waived the normal retirement age for Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to ensure that the Commissioner received an extension of two years past the normal retirement age of 60, in view of details supplied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26464/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The appointment of the Garda Commissioner is, under Section 9 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, made by the Government. The Government decided to extend the term of office of the present Commissioner, as an exceptional measure, to provide continuity at a time of significant organisational change aimed at achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of the policing service. The extension will be for a period of two years.

Prisoner Numbers

Questions (215)

John Deasy

Question:

215. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current number of persons incarcerated in Irish prisons; and the number for each of the last five years. [26484/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that there were 4,245 persons in custody on 27 May 2013. A breakdown of the number of persons in custody on the same date for the previous five years are included in the table.

Number in custody

Year

4,245

2013

4,483

2012

4,465

2011

4,277

2010

3,905

2009

3,588

2008