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Child Protection

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 10 May 2022

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Questions (659, 660)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

659. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice the number of women in prison who have children who are in the care of Tusla; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23258/22]

View answer

Catherine Connolly

Question:

660. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice the number of women in prison who have children who are in the care of relatives or family friends through kinship care arrangements; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23259/22]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 659 and 660 together.

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that details of the number of women in prison who have children who are in the care of Tusla, or the number of women in prison who have children who are in the care of relatives or family friends, are not currently collated. Furthermore, there is no obligation on any woman in prison to provide the Irish Prison Service with such information.

The Deputy will wish to note that a statistical snapshot of Thursday 31 March 2022 indicates that there were 158 women in custody - 28 women in Limerick prison and 130 women in the Dochás Centre.

Of that figure, 122 (100 in the Dóchas Centre and 22 in Limerick Prison) or 77% of these women have self-reported that they have children. Details are set out in the table below.

Women who have reported having children

No children

Not Declared

Total

Limerick Female Prison

22

6

0

28

Mountjoy Female Prison

100

26

4

130

Total

122

32

4

158

It is important to note that these figures can include adult children and statistics regarding details of children are self-reported by the person in custody, who may decide not to disclose or declare such details.

The Prison Service is facilitating the circulation of a confidential survey among women in prison, on behalf of Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT), the purpose of which is to understand their experiences in regards to the placement of their children in care, if applicable. Again, these results will rely on self-reporting.

Question No. 660 answered with Question No. 659.
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