738. Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Justice the status of the establishment of a complaints process within the Irish Prison Service; and her plans for establishing an independent means of complaint in addition. [52446/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I wish to advise the Deputy that substantial work has been completed on the necessary actions to introduce the new Prisoner Complaints System, including on staff training, the development of an integrated IT system to support case handling and a draft policy for complaints handling.
The critical path for the introduction of the new system includes the drafting of the Statutory Instrument to support a legally sound administrative process and to amend the prison rules.
My officials and the Irish Prison Service continue to engage with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel with a view to completing work on the Statutory Instrument which will give legal effect to the new Prisoner Complaints System.
They are also continuing to engage with the relevant stakeholders, including the Office of the Ombudsman, with regard to the introduction of the new complaints system and in preparation for its future operation.