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Prison Service

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (319)

Ivana Bacik

Ceist:

319. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice the number of usable cells in each prison and overall across the State; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58189/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service perform a quarterly census of the Prison estate and publish the results on their website, at www.irishprisons.ie/information-centre/statistics-information/census-reports/

I can further advise the Deputy that according to the latest census which was carried out on 19 October 2021 there were 3,211 usable cells across the estate.

Table 1 below provides a breakdown by prison of all usable cells as at 19th October 2021

Prison

Number in Custody

Useable Cells

One Prisoner

Two Prisoners

Three Prisoners

4+ Prisoners

Arbour Hill

129

115

99

30

0

0

Castlerea

285

244

127

158

0

0

Cloverhill

408

206

80

64

228

36

Cork

265

170

55

204

6

0

Limerick Female

28

24

20

8

0

0

Limerick Male

185

146

99

86

0

0

Loughan

94

102

94

0

0

0

Midlands

791

587

355

414

6

16

Mountjoy Female

119

97

49

70

0

0

Mountjoy Male

694

755

694

0

0

0

Portlaoise

210

267

145

56

9

0

Shelton Abbey

94

58

37

10

15

32

Wheatfield

536

440

284

252

0

0

Total

3,838

3,211

2,138

1,352

264

84

The key statistics from the Census relating to usable cells are:

- There were 3,838 prisoners in custody.

- 2,138 (56%) cells accommodated one prisoner.

- 676 cells accommodated two prisoners (1,352 prisoners).

- 88 cells accommodated three prisoners (264 prisoners).

- 20 cells accommodated four or more prisoners (84 prisoners).

- 3 prisoners accommodated in Safety Observation Cell.

- 11 prisoners accommodated in Close Supervision Cells.

The Irish Prison Service are currently progressing a number of projects that will deliver additional prisoner spaces over the next twelve months.

These projects include the reopening of the Training Unit to accommodate older prisoners, and will see 96 prisoner spaces return to operation.

In addition, the construction of a new male wing and standalone female prison is underway in Limerick Prison and will provide 90 additional male and 40 additional female spaces. This project is expected to be completed by the end of Summer 2022 and the new accommodation will become operational by the end of quarter 3 of 2022. This timeline assumes no further impact on construction activity or supply chain issues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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