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Question

122. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the criteria under which persons are granted enhanced remission; the number of persons who have applied for enhanced remission in 2015; the number granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33686/15]

123. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons who have applied for enhanced remission in each of the years 2007 to 2014; the number granted in these years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33687/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 and 123 together.
As the Deputy is aware the principles governing the awarding of enhanced remission are contained under Rule 59 of the Prison Rules 2007 to 2014 (S.I. No. 252 of 2007 and S.I. No. 385 of 2014). In summary, prisoners sentenced to a term of imprisonment qualify for one quarter remission on the basis of good behaviour. In addition, prisoners who have engaged in authorised structured activity may apply to receive enhanced remission of greater than one quarter but not exceeding one third of their sentence. In order for a prisoner to be granted enhanced remission, I as Minister must be satisfied that the prisoner, having regard to the matters listed below, is less likely to re-offend and is better able to re-integrate into the community . For all applications, the following factors are considered:
- the manner and extent to which the prisoner has engaged constructively in authorised structured activity
- the manner and extent to which the prisoner has taken steps to address his or offending behaviour
- the nature and gravity of the offence to which the sentence of imprisonment being served by the prisoner relates
- the sentence of imprisonment concerned and any recommendations of the court that imposed that sentence in relation thereto
- the period of the sentence served by the prisoner
- the potential threat to the safety and security of members of the public (including the victim of the offence to which the sentence of imprisonment being served by the prisoner relates) should the prisoner be released from prison
- any offence of which the prisoner was convicted before being convicted of the offence to which the sentence of imprisonment being served by him or relates
- the conduct of the prisoner while in custody or during a period of temporary release
- any report of, or recommendation made by the Governor of the prison, an Garda Síochána, any probation officer or any other person whom I consider would be of assistance in enabling me to make a decision on an application.
The statistics for those who applied for and were granted enhanced remission are not readily available and I will respond to the Deputy as soon as possible with the information requested.