Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (281)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

281. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the plans he has to commence all sections of the Parole Act 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47869/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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.

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.

Prisoners who have applied under the old system but have not yet been granted parole will, once they meet the criteria set out in the Parole Act, be considered by the new Board, in accordance with the provisions of that Act. There will be no parallel or alternative process for granting of parole.

The Deputy will be aware that under the 2019 Act, prisoners serving a life sentence will be eligible to be considered only after they have served 12 years of that sentence.

The Parole Act does not affect other forms of early release such as temporary release or remission, which have a different legislative basis and will continue to operate on that basis as before.