510. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress of the independent living programme, announced by the director general of the prison service in February 2015. [20458/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that it is continuing to progress the development of a Therapeutic Community within the prison estate which, when complete, will compliment and integrate with the existing addiction support services.
The development of a prison based Therapeutic Community will enhance the treatment options available to prisoners addressing substance misuse while in custody. It will also facilitate a more streamlined through care for prisoners, from a prison based Therapeutic Community to a community based service, which should result in a higher level of retention, and ultimate completion by participants of the Therapeutic Community services.