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Question

137. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of convicted sex offenders who will be released in the next 12 months under the current remission system having completed their sentences; the number of these who have engaged in a treatment programme to date, who are scheduled for release within 12 months and who she anticipates will have participated in such a programme prior to release; the nature of the programmes concerned; and the qualifications and training of those who provide such programmes. [43346/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the number of convicted sex offenders due for release between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016 is 104. Of these 104, 50 have participated in either individual or group based treatment and intervention with the Psychology Services. A further 5 have indicated that they wish to be engaged with assessment and treatment during 2016.
These figures do not include those offenders who are involved with the Probation Service and other services in terms of treatment and risk management and resettlement processes. At present, the Building Better Lives programme is located at Arbour Hill Prison. The Irish Prison Service is currently in the process of expanding this programme to the Midlands Prison Campus which accommodates a significant number of sexual offenders. This will allow for enhanced screening processes with this population, and the establishment of components of the Building Better Lives Programme in Midlands Prison.
These developments are aimed at developing the earliest possible engagement with an increased number of sexual offenders as part of their sentence management.
Individual and group based treatment is carried out by appropriately qualified and experienced Clinical, Counselling and Forensic Psychologists.
In addition, I should emphasise that sexual offenders released from prison who are subject to notification requirements under the Sex Offenders Act 2001 are required to notify the Gardaí of any change in their home address.