151. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps the Irish Prison Service is taking to address the frequency of assaults on inmates and prison officers in Castlerea Prison in County Roscommon; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43450/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): No level of inter prisoner violence or assaults is acceptable and effort is made by prison staff and management to limit the scope of acts of violence. However, no regime can completely eliminate the possibility of violent incidents happening in a prison setting where a large number of dangerous and violent offenders are being held.
The Irish Prison Service has successfully introduced a number of measures across the prison estate such as, hand-held metal detectors, netting over prison yards, body scanning chairs and security screening machines to detect and prevent weapons from entering the prison to limit the scope of acts of violence. In addition, new prisoner programmes have been introduced such as the Incentivised Regimes policy which provides for a differentiation of privileges between prisoners according to their level of engagement with services and quality of behaviour. The objective is to provide tangible incentives to prisoners to participate in structured activities and to reinforce good behaviour, leading to a safer and more secure environment.