Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 9 - Drugs in prisons [19276/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 9 - Drugs in prisons [19276/14]. (30 Apr 2014)

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9. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding for the training and retraining of dogs used in detecting drugs in the prison system; if he is committed to maintaining this service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [19276/14] 

 Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter):  I wish to advise the Deputy that the current contract for the provision of training services to the Irish Prison Service Canine Unit will expire in the very near future. The options regarding the provision of future training services are currently being explored. The Deputy will appreciate that the release of such sensitive data could compromise and undermine the legitimacy of any future tendering process. This could lead to a less than competitive outcome, as parties intending to submit a tender could be guided by the previous expenditure levels. I can assure the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service is fully committed to maintaining the current level of vigilance in targeting the flow of contraband into the prisons and in identifying those responsible for same. As such the Irish Prison Service is engaged in training staff to deliver an accredited training module for the Drug Detection Dog Teams. All teams are being trained to a high standard to ensure that the screening process and procedures are maintained across the Estate. The Canine Unit will remain an integral part of the Irish Prison Services commitment to preventing drugs entering the prison system.

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