Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (141, 142, 143)

Clare Daly

Question:

141. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoner on prisoner assaults in each prison in total in 2013 and between January and June 2014; the number of prisoners on staff assaults in each prison in total in 2013 and between January amd June 2014. [28662/14]

View answer

Clare Daly

Question:

142. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners on prisoner assaults in each prison in total in 2013; the number of prisoner on staff assaults in each prison in total in 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28663/14]

View answer

Clare Daly

Question:

143. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoner on prisoner assaults in each prison in total in 2014; the number of prisoner on staff assaults in each prison in total in 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28664/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 141 to 143, inclusive, together.

The information requested by the Deputy on the number of prisoner on prisoner assaults and prisoner on staff assaults for 2013 is set out in the table below.

Prison/Place of Detention

Number of Prisoner on Prisoner Assaults by prison 2013

Number of Prisoner Assaults on Staff by prison 2013

Arbour Hill

7

0

Castlerea

103

12

Cloverhill

76

12

Cork

30

8

Dóchas Centre

21

7

Limerick

31

5

Loughan House

0

0

Midlands

88

7

Mountjoy (Male)

107

34

St.Patrick's Institution

57

49

Portlaoise

5

3

Shelton Abbey

0

0

Training Unit

0

0

Wheatfield

77

10

PSEC

2

7

Total

604

154

No level of inter prisoner violence or assaults on staff is acceptable. Every effort is made by prison staff and management to limit the scope of acts of violence. However, no regime can completely eliminate the possibility of violent incidents happening in a prison setting where a large number of dangerous and violent offenders are being held. As the Deputy can see from the figures there were 758 incidents of violence recorded in prisons during 2013 and this includes very minor incidents. This amounts to an average of 2.1 incidents per day among a population of approximately 4,000.

The Irish Prison Service has successfully introduced a number of measures across the prison estate such as, hand-held metal detectors, netting over prison yards, boss chairs and security screening machines to detect and prevent weapons from entering the prison to limit the scope of acts of violence.

In addition, new prisoner programmes have been introduced such as the Incentivised Regimes policy which 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. As a result, I am pleased to advise the Deputy that the figures for 2013 represent an 8% decrease on the 2012 total of 822 (715 prisoner on prisoner and 107 prisoner on staff).

I can advise the deputy that the number of prisoner on prisoner assaults and the number of prisoners on staff assaults in each prison for January to June 2014 is not readily available and requires a manual examination of records. The Information is being collated by the Irish Prison Service and I will forward a reply to the Deputy as soon possible.