Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of male and female prisoners, respectively, transferred from the Irish Prison Service to the Central Mental Hospital in each month in 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19267/19]
502. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners awaiting a transfer from the Irish Prison Service to the Central Mental Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19270/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 501 and 502 together.
I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that in-reach mental health services are made available to persons in custody through its collaboration with the Health Service Executive, and the National Forensic Mental Health Service [NFMHS].
The Irish Prison Service has also confirmed that it has access to a limited number of beds in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) for prisoners suffering from a severe mental illness who require residential mental health treatment. A waiting list for the admission of prisoners to the CMH is operated by the NFMHS and is reviewed on a weekly basis. I understand that all prisoners on the waiting list have been clinically assessed by Consultant Forensic Psychiatrists from the NFMHS as requiring admission to the CMH which is a tertiary care facility.
The Irish Prison Service has confirmed that the most recent figures available, for the week ending 29 April last, indicate that an aggregate of 29 persons in custody were awaiting transfer; this aggregate total is comprised of 26 male prisoners, and 3 female prisoners.
An aggregate of 19 prisoners were admitted to the CMH in 2018, comprised of 16 male prisoners, and 3 female prisoners. There have been a further 6 male prisoners admitted to the CMH to date in 2019.
The monthly breakdown is as follows: