Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Ceisteanna (233, 234)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

233. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of complaints received in 2018 and to date in 2019 that were upheld, not upheld, not proven, terminated or incomplete, respectively; the length of time, that is, minimum, maximum and average it took to complete and communicate the outcomes of complaints to prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24907/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

234. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of category A complaints received in 2018 and to date in 2019 that were upheld, not upheld, not proven, terminated or incomplete, respectively; the length of time, that is, minimum, maximum and average it took to complete and communicate the outcomes of complaints to prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24908/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 233 and 234 together.

I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that the information requested by the Deputy in relation to the number complaints, including category A complaints, received in 2018 and to date in 2019 that were upheld, not upheld, not proven, terminated or incomplete is contained in the tables attached. The 2019 figures are as at 12th June, 2019.

All prisoners have the right to make a complaint at any time and all complaints are treated with the utmost seriousness. Complaints can vary in nature. Some may relate to, for example, conditions of accommodation, quality of food or access to services. Other complaints can be more serious such as allegations of assault, mistreatment or intimidation.

Under the Irish Prison Service Complaints System there are 6 categories of complaints depending on the seriousness of the complaint. The most serious being Category A Complaints which are investigated by persons outside the Prison Service.

Category A complaints are complaints alleging assault or use of excessive force against a prisoner, or ill treatment, racial abuse, discrimination, intimidation, threats or any other conduct against a prisoner of a nature and gravity likely to bring discredit on the Irish Prison Service.

I am informed by my officials that the average length of time it takes to investigate a Category A complaints is 2.9 months, the average time for all other complaints investigated by prison management is 1.5 months. Throughout the prison estate, all efforts are put in place to relay the outcome of any investigation to the complainant and all other parties involved, (where appropriate) within a week of receipt of same.

CATEGORY A COMPLAINTS ONLY

2018

2019

Total number of Complaints received

80

25

OF THAT TOTAL:

Total number upheld

4

2

Total number not upheld

46

4

Total number not proven

4

0

Total number terminated

3

0

Total number incomplete

12

13

Total number withdrawn

9

0

Total number part upheld

0

2

Total number not investigated

2

4

ALL OTHER COMPLAINTS

2018

*2019

Total number of Complaints received

977

359

OF THAT TOTAL:

Total number upheld

300

104

Total number not upheld

309

101

Total number not proven

162

39

Total number terminated

98

26

Total number incomplete

108

89

*Totals reflect the number of complaints as at 12th June 2019