23 December 2014

The Department of Justice and Equality has today confirmed that 242 prisoners will be granted varying periods of temporary release this Christmas under the Criminal Justice Act 1960.

All prisoners approved Christmas temporary release have been through a rigorous Risk Assessment process including consideration of the views of services such as the Probation Service, prison psychological services, local management, etc., with the primary focus being on the safety of the general public.

Of the prisoners being released this year, the majority are prisoners serving their sentences in our lower security institutions: the Training Unit Semi-Open Prison; Loughan House and Shelton Abbey Open Centres.

The prisoners being released are nearing the end of their sentences and the overriding concern when considering the applications is the safety of the public. In addition to compassionate and humane considerations, other criteria taken into account include the nature and gravity of the offence, length of sentence served to date, prior record on temporary release, behaviour while in custody and previous criminal history.

All releases are subject to stringent conditions and any offender who breaks these conditions may be arrested and returned immediately to prison by the Gardaí.