110. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedures which a prisoner must undergo on arrival at prison, and before being allocated a cell; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8412/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can advise the Deputy that there is a standard operational procedure in place to ensure that upon committal, all offenders are assessed and accommodated appropriately according to their needs and specific security status. Dedicated committals units have been established in all committal prisons for this purpose.
I can further advise the Deputy that once a prisoner is committed to prison, the warrant is executed and the prisoner is then brought to the reception area. In the reception area the prisoner is searched in line with agreed procedures and their property is retained and logged. They are then brought to the committals unit.
During the committal period, each prisoner is given an information booklet outlining his/her rights, duties, obligations and privileges. Each prisoner is assessed during the committal and induction period to determine whether he or she poses a safety risk to themselves, other prisoners or staff. In addition every prisoner undergoes a healthcare assessment in the committal unit.
The prison Governor or a delegated member of prison staff also meets with the prisoner during the committal period in order to ensure that he or she has been made aware of and understands his or her rights, duties, obligations and privileges.