Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (217)

Willie Penrose


217. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost in a full year if 120 additional prison officers were recruited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28605/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the full year cost of employing 120 new Recruit Prison Officers is €5.6m. However given that recruitment is staggered over the course of the year the actual cost would be somewhat less than this figure, depending on the varying start dates of new recruits. 

The recruitment of Recruit Prison Officers by the Irish Prison Service has been ongoing since 2017 and has regard to such factors as service needs and retirement levels. It is anticipated that recruitment will be necessary over the coming years in order for the Irish Prison Service to have sufficient numbers of Prison Officers to provide safe and secure custody for those in our care. 

There were 179 new recruits to the Prison Service in 2018. To date this year 68 new recruits have completed their initial training with a further 48 are currently undergoing their initial training. In addition, the Prison Service hope to recruit circa 96 recruits before the end of 2019. This recruitment will assist the Prison Service to keep pace with retirements from the Service.

The known retirements for all prison grades as of 1st July 2019 is 45 which includes 8 compulsory retirements.  It should be noted that 389 prison grade staff will be eligible to retire, but are not required to do so, in 2019.