Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (661)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

661. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the number of prisoners who have absconded in the past 12 months; the number still at large; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7151/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Irish Prison Service defines an absconder as a prisoner who leaves an Open Centre without the relevant approval.

The Deputy will wish to be aware that An Garda Síochána are informed when prisoners abscond and they have the power to detain, arrest, and return such persons to prison.

Experience has shown that the vast majority of offenders who abscond return voluntarily or are returned to custody to complete their sentences within a short time frame.

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service from 8 February 2020, 13 persons were deemed to have absconded in the past 12 months and that of that number, one individual remains unlawfully at large.