Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (288)

Mary Lou McDonald


288. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department has issued guidance to the Irish Prison Service on the implementation of the Parole Act 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37359/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Parole Act 2019 provides for the establishment of an independent, statutory Parole Board, which will make decisions in relation to parole for all eligible prisoners.

There are a number of practical steps required for commencement of the Act and establishment of the Parole Board, for example selection of Board members, the appointment of a Chief Executive and staff, putting in place the funding for the new Board and various other matters including determining where the Board’s premises will be.

The question of guidance on the operation of the Act does not yet arise.

As soon as the statutory Parole Board is in place and the Parole Act is commenced, all parole applications will be considered by that Board. There will be no parallel process for granting of parole. Prisoners who have applied under the old system but have not yet been granted parole will be eligible to be considered, once they meet the criteria set out in the Parole Act, by the new Board, in accordance with the provisions of that Act.