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Question

89. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the total number, by gender, of persons imprisoned in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016; to indicate the total numbers of prisoners, by gender, granted temporary release and community return in the same period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10659/17]

Answer

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I wish to advise the Deputy that the figures for persons imprisoned for the years 2011 to 2015 are outlined in the following table. The figures for 2016 are currently unavailable pending the publication of the Irish Prison Service 2016 Annual Report.
Persons imprisoned for the years 2011 to 2015

Year Male Female Total
2015 11,264 2,918 14,182
2014 10,723 2,685 13,408
2013 10,729 2,326 13,055
2012 11,709 2,151 13,860
2011 12,050 1,902 13,952

The number of prisoners granted temporary release prior to March 2012 is 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 can not be justified in current circumstances where there are other significant demands on resources.
However the Irish Prison Service introduced a new Prisoner Information Management System (PIMS) on 03 March, 2012 and it is therefore possible to provide the information requested from 03 March, 2012 to date. This information is set out in the following table.
Total number of prisoners granted Temporary Release
Year Male Female Total number of prisoners granted Temporary Release
2016 7,228 2,117 9,345
2015 8,377 2,390 10,767
2014 8,533 2,278 10,811
2013 8,514 2,072 10,586
2012 (from 3rd March) 7,585 1,495 9,080

Each application for Temporary Release of any nature including Community Return is considered on its individual merits and a number of factors are taken into account when making a decision including the nature of the offence, whether or not the person is a first-time offender and whether the person poses a threat to public safety.
The Irish Prison Service publishes figures in relation to the number of prisoners currently on temporary release on their website www.irishprisons.ie on a daily basis. I can advise the Deputy that the number of prisoners on temporary release on 28 February 2017 was 252 which represented approximately 6% of the overall prison population, this includes 66 persons on the community return scheme.
The numbers of person who have availed of temporary release to the Community Return Scheme since 2011 are outlined in the following table.
The numbers of person who have availed of temporary release to the Community Return Scheme since 2011
Prison 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total
Arbour Hill 1 1
Castlerea 5 6 11 8 8 38
Cloverhill 3 0 2 1 6
Cork 29 19 41 28 17 134
Dochas 12 21 14 12 9 68
Limerick 7 22 39 35 20 29 152
Loughan 11 27 79 92 75 83 367
Midlands 5 29 33 33 17 16 133
Mountjoy 11 40 36 23 24 9 143
Portlaoise 4 15 9 8 5 41
Shelton 18 70 82 127 87 82 466
St Pats 12 19 2 0 0 33
Training Unit 7 36 18 43 27 24 155
Wheatfield 7 13 26 25 14 18 103
Total 66 299 396 455 323 301 1840