Home > 13. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality... at the Dóchas Centre; his views on whether dormitory accommodation may prove more problematic than traditional cell-based accommodation due to drug use and possession of other prohibited items. [38009/11]

[Oireachtas] 13. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality... at the Dóchas Centre; his views on whether dormitory accommodation may prove more problematic than traditional cell-based accommodation due to drug use and possession of other prohibited items. [38009/11]. (01 Dec 2011)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/12/01/00033...


13.  Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the categories of female offenders that will be housed in the new dormitory-style accommodation at the Dóchas Centre; his views on whether dormitory accommodation may prove more problematic than traditional cell-based accommodation due to drug use and possession of other prohibited items; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38009/11]  

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I wish to advise the Deputy that an administrative building on the Dóchas Centre site has been converted into a new accommodation block which will provide an additional 70 spaces. It is expected that this block will be ready for occupation in early 2012. The opening of the new spaces at the Dóchas Centre will assist in alleviating the overcrowding issue.
 
The ethos upon which the Dóchas Centre was built was that the women prisoners should live together in a community style setting. Women prisoners serving short sentences can be housed in the same areas as women serving longer sentences. The Governor of the Dóchas Centre has the responsibility to determine who resides where within the female prison. This responsibility will remain with prison management when the dormitory style accommodation becomes available. However it is likely that the new accommodation will be used in particular for remand and short term prisoners.
 
The Irish Prison Service has informed me that there has been a significant reduction in the supply of contraband into the Dóchas Centre since netting was installed over the prison yards earlier this year. Other initiatives introduced in the Dóchas Centre, as well as the male prisons, have significantly reduced the availability of contraband in prisons, including:
·         tighter control and monitoring of prison visits;
·         airport style security screening of all staff and visitors coming into the prison;
·         x-ray scanners to scan all coats and bags/briefcases;
·         the establishment of the Canine Unit;
·         increased random searches of prisoner accommodation and it’s occupants;
·         stricter searching of those committed to custody and of those returning to the prison after temporary release, court and after visits.
 
I am satisfied that significant progress is being made in order to reduce the flow of contraband into the prisons. I do not foresee a difficulty with continuing this good work whatever the style of accommodation.

 

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation
Thursday, 1 December 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate Vol. 748 No. 4
Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:1 December 2011
EndNote:View
Subjects:MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Correctional system and facility > Prison
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland > Dublin
T Demographic characteristics > Prison Inmate (prisoner)
MM-MO Crime and law > Crime > Substance related crime > Crime associated with substance production and distribution

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