Written Answers. - Treatment of Convicted Paedophiles.

Frances Fitzgerald

Ceist:

518 Ms F. Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Justice the plans, if any, she has for the introduction of a secure unit in Ireland for the treatment of convicted paedophiles. [16853/96]

A sophisticated treatment programme for sex offenders has now been in operation since 1994. This programme, which is by necessity voluntary, was formulated in order to provide convicted sex offenders with the means to avoid reoffending following release on the completion of their sentences. The programme is currently based and delivered within the confines of Arbour Hill Prison which is a fully secure, closed institution. Convicted paedophiles have access to this treatment programme and, therefore, there is no advantage in having a separate facility dedicated solely to paedophiles.