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580. Deputy Réada Cronin asked the Minister for Justice the number of psychologists employed by and also available to the State for the treatment of prisoners in tabular form in each of the past ten years; the number of prisoners referred to them in each of the past ten years in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37839/21]

Answer

Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy Hildegarde Naughton): Table 1 below provides the number of Psychologists employed by the Prison Service as at 31 December for each year from 2011 to 2020.
The number provided for 2021 are correct as at 30 June 2021. 
Table 1 - Number of Psychologists employed by the Irish Prison Service

   Grade      2011      2012      2013      2014      2015      2016      2017      2018      2019      2020      2021  
   Grade      2011      2012      2013      2014      2015      2016      2017      2018      2019      2020      2021  
Director   of Psychology 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Occupational   Psychologist 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0
Psychologists   – All Other   Grades 17.6 19.6 16.6 16.6 15.2 20 26.5 25.6 31.8 33 33.8

The IPS has informed me that it is currently considering the recruitment of a Senior Clinical or Counselling Psychologist with prison experience instead of an Occupational Psychologist, who would take a lead role in supporting the IPSC (Irish Prison Service College) with psychology relevant training and leadership programmes for staff.
Table 2 below provides the number of prisoners referred to psychology services from 2019 to date. It is important to note that this data may include some instances of multiple referrals for one person. 
I wish to advise the Deputy that the data in relation to the number of prisoners referred to psychology services is available from 2019 to date. Prior to 2019 this data was not collated in the manner requested by the Deputy.  
Table 2: Number of Direct Referrals
Year Number   of incoming, direct referrals to the IPS Psychology Service
2019 1,498
2020 1,416
2021   to date 730


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