Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Ceisteanna (254)

Joe O'Brien

Ceist:

254. Deputy Joe O'Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons diverted from prison through the prison in-reach and court liaison scheme in 2018 and to date in 2019; if there were delays in diversion due to a lack of appropriate community-based services or spaces; the types of services to which these persons were diverted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52612/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I understand that the Deputy is referring to the psychiatric in-reach and court-liaison service (PICLS). This service ensures that, as far as possible, those people presenting before the courts, or indeed at an earlier stage of the criminal justice system, and where the infraction is a reflection of an underlying mental illness, are referred and managed appropriately.

As the Deputy may be aware, PICLS is operated by the National Forensic Mental Health Service (NFMHS) in the HSE. As such, my Department does not maintain such records as those specifically requested by the Deputy and I wish to confirm that this is a matter for my colleague the Minister for Health.

However, to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have now referred this matter to the Department of Health. I am advised that the Department of Health will make arrangements to respond to the Deputy’s question directly.