Thursday, 17 May 2018

Questions (119)

Clare Daly


119. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps taken by the Irish Prison Service to advise prisoners of their right to vote in the upcoming referendum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21917/18]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service (IPS) that considerable efforts have been made to facilitate prisoner voting.

The IPS has fully complied with the provisions of the Electoral Amendment Act 2006 in the context of facilitating prisoner voting in general and local elections and referenda, as follows:

Information on voting is contained in the induction packs presented to all prisoners on committal. Prison officials have worked closely with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in producing an information leaflet for prisoners on prisoner voting. This leaflet is widely available in all prisons.

All prisons have a stock of ballot application forms available to prisoners on request.

All prisons have a designated official who has been appointed under the provisions of the Electoral Amendment Act 2006 with responsibility for the facilitation of prisoner postal voting.

Prisoners have access to a range of media forms including newspapers, radio and TV through which they are kept informed of current affairs. The extensive educational facilities available in the various institutions also play a role in this process of increasing prisoner awareness of political developments. Both the library service and the educational services in the prisons play a valuable role in increasing awareness among prisoners of their rights in this area.