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Question

87. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners with a previous prison record who were granted temporary release or community return in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the rate of recidivism for this cohort of prisoners; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10657/17]

Answer

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can advise the Deputy that the number of prisoners granted full or reviewable temporary release, including temporary release to the Community Return Scheme, for the years 2014 to date in 2017 is set out in the following table.
Total number of prisoners granted Temporary Release/Community Return

Year Total number of prisoners granted Temporary Release/Community Return
2017 1, 297
2016 9,345
2015 10,767
2014 10,811

Statistics requested regarding the number of prisoners with a previous prison record, are not readily available and would require a manual examination of records. Such an examination would require a disproportionate and inordinate amount of staff time and effort and cannot be justified in current circumstances where there are other significant demands on resources.
The Irish Prison Service Recidivism study for 2010 shows that 2,561 persons out of a total of 9,339 that were released in that year went on to re-offend within the first 6 months of release. As well as offences committed after expiration of sentence, this figure also includes offences committed before their official release date and this would take account of crimes committed while on early release, day release, and compassionate release. It also includes offences committed while in custody such as assaults and possession of mobile phones.
These figures were produced in partnership with the Central Statistics Office using a combination of Garda Síochána and Irish Prison Service records, based on the Irish Crime Classification System. The study, which was published on 10 November 2016, looked at the available data up to the end of 2013 to take account of the time to make a conviction and a broader 3 year analysis of recidivism.