189. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice if she will address a series of matters in relation to a prisoner (details supplied) who absconded from Loughlan House Prison, Cavan, on 4 October 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51368/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy Hildegarde Naughton): I hope you can appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on individual prisoner cases.
However, I can assure the Deputy that the return of the prisoner in question to custody is now being actively pursued by the Gardaí and I can advise that the Irish Prison Service has commenced an internal review of the circumstances of his absconding with a view to identifying any improvements to processes and procedures arising from same.
In relation to the how decisions are made about the transfer of a prisoner from a closed to an open prison, the Deputy may find it helpful for me to set out some general information on this.
Prisoners can be transferred to open prisons for sentence management purposes and are considered for transfer to an Open Prison under the Irish Prison Service Open Centre Policy. Approval is granted subject to them meeting certain criteria. The decision to transfer a prisoner is taken after a review of their sentence in order to determine if they are progressing well and engaging in structured activities, for example if they have completed education or training courses. Such recommendations are made by a Multi-Disciplinary Team at a Sentence Management Review Meeting.
In cases where a victim is registered with the Victim Liaison Office in the IPS, they will be notified of any planned transfer of the prisoner to an open prison.