Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views on the amount of profits generated in each of the tuck shops in all of the prisons; if the profits are used to fund a hardship fund, or prisoner assistance programmes for some prisoners, or if the funds go to the general running costs of the prison; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20460/15]
513. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the way the pricing policy in prison tuck shops is formulated and overseen. [20461/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 512 and 513 together.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that profits generated in each tuck shop will vary across prisons in accordance with the local demand for the range of products selected and the prison population.
To ensure consistency and uniformity of Tuck Shop products across the prison network a Standard Product List has been implemented. Individual Governors can select the range of products available in their own prisons from this list in accordance with the following:
- Type of Prison
- Space Available
- Corporate knowledge of Prisoner requirements
Profits generated from prisoner purchases in the tuck shop are used to support prisoners through the Prisoner Assist Programme Fund (PAPF). At the end of each month, profits are transferred to the PAPF to facilitate hardship payments to prisoners and support other programmes and services for prisoners. In addition, initiatives such as the Red Cross Programme and the Community Return Programme are partly funded from these profits.
Funds generated through the Tuck Shop are not used to finance the general running costs of the prison. In addition, the costs associated with running the Tuck Shops are not deducted from any profit made, for example, staffing costs, provision of facilities and utility costs.
I am further advised by the Irish Prison Service that there is a Standard Pricing Policy in operation in the Irish Prison Service. This policy is to charge the Recommended Retail Price (RRP), as notified by the contracted supplier, in all prisons.
The prices charged are overseen by a Governors Sub Group who are responsible for the administration and changes to the Standard Product List.