254. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners registered to vote; the number that voted per prison in the presidential election in 2018 and in the May 2019 elections and referendum, respectively. [25252/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I wish to advise the Deputy that the number of prisoners who exercised their right to vote in the Presidential election in 2018 and in the May 2019 elections and Referendum, respectively are included in the following table. I can further advise the Deputy that due to an administrative error this information for 2018 was not recorded in the Dochas Centre. Also the statistics requested for Shelton Abbey are currently unavailable. I have advised the Irish Prison Service to send this information directly to the Deputy as soon as it is to hand.
I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that considerable efforts were made to facilitate prisoner voting prior to the dates for the Presidential election in 2018 and in the May 2019 elections and Referendum, respectively.
The Irish Prison Service complies with the provisions of the Electoral Amendment Act 2006 in the context of facilitating prisoner voting in general and local elections and referenda, through ensuring:
- Information on voting is contained in the induction packs presented to all prisoners on committal. Prison officials have worked closely with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in producing an information leaflet for prisoners on prisoner voting. This leaflet is widely available in all prisons.
- All prisons have a stock of ballot application forms available to prisoners on request.
- All prisons have a designated official who has been appointed under the provisions of the Electoral Amendment Act 2006 with responsibility for the facilitation of prisoner postal voting.
Prisoners have access to a range of media forms including newspapers, radio and TV through which they are kept informed of current affairs. The extensive educational facilities available in the various institutions also play a role in this process of increasing prisoner awareness of political developments. Both the library service and the educational services in the prisons play a valuable role in increasing awareness among prisoners of their rights in this area.
|-||May 2018 Presidential Election & 8th Amendment Referendum||-||May 2019 Local, European & Divorce Referendum||-|
|Institution||Prisoners registered to vote||Prisoners who voted||Prisoners registered to vote||Prisoners who voted|
|Mountjoy (f)||Not available||Not available||12||10|
|Shelton Abbey||Not available||Not available||Not available||Not available|