Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the numbers of prisoners kept in Cork prison on a monthly basis from January 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54135/18]
405. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners in Cork prison sleeping on mattresses on a monthly basis since January 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54136/18]
406. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the constant overcrowding in Cork prison; if concerns have been raised in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54137/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 404 to 406, inclusive, together.
I wish to inform the Deputy that the two sets of statistics requested are provided in the following tables.
I can further inform the Deputy that Cork Prison is the main committal prison for male prisoners from the counties of Cork, Kerry and Waterford and that the current operational capacity figure for the Prison is 296. In 2018 the average daily population figure was 288.
The Deputy will appreciate that prison Governors are required by law to accept all prisoners into their custody who have been committed to prison by the Courts. The Irish Prison Service therefore has no control over the numbers committed to custody at any given time.
The actual number of beds available on a given day can be less than the capacity figure as cells may be unavailable for different reasons such as repairs and maintenance. Furthermore, where local management assess a prisoner as being unsuited to share a cell for reasons of vulnerability or propensity to violence, a cell designated as being operationally suitable for two prisoners may, temporarily, house only one prisoner.
Where the number of prisoners exceeds the maximum capacity in any prison, my officials make every effort to deal with this through a combination of inter-prison transfers and structured Temporary Release.
Decisions in relation to temporary release are considered on a case by case basis and the safety of the public is paramount when those decisions are made.
The numbers of prisoners accommodated in Cork prison on a monthly basis for 2018
|Month||Average Daily Number of Prisoners|