In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and as the Deputy will appreciate, a wide range of measures have been required to protect our prison population, in line with public health advice. The Irish Prison Service is continuing to work towards minimising the potential issues with the COVID -19 pandemic within the closed and high risk prison environment.
Additional costs have arisen in relation to PPE equipment, certain expenditure related to absence of family visits, additional video link facilities for remote Court attendance and additional payroll costs to cover for officers in isolation.
The budget for 2020 is being monitored on an ongoing basis and similarly the budgetary requirements in relation to the impact of the COVID - 19 pandemic into 2021 are also a consideration in the estimates discussions currently underway.
As announced during the summer, the Governments July Stimulus Package provides for additional capital funding of €8 million for the Prisons Vote and the progress on all capital projects is being kept continually under review.