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Question

524. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the total number of prisoners under 21 years of age; the number in each of the institutions in which they are held; the number of such prisoners who are on restricted regimes; the number of hours each day for which such prisoners are confined to their cells; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20658/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that on 30th April 2015 there were 212 prisoners under the age of 21 in custody in our prisons.
A breakdown of their age and location is set out in Table 1.
Of this, 19 prisoners under the age of 21 years were subject to a restricted regime. A breakdown of their age and regime is set out in Tables 2 and 3.
The restriction of a prisoner's regime can occur due to a number of factors including the protection of vulnerable prisoners. This is provided for under Rule 63 of the Prison Rules, 2007. A prisoner may, either at his/her own request or when the Governor considers it necessary, in so far as is practicable and subject to the maintenance and good order and safe and secure custody, be kept separate from other prisoners who are reasonably likely to cause significant harm to him/her. There were 15 prisoners under the age of 21 who had their regime restricted for this reason.
In addition, the Governor may decide, for the maintenance of good order in the prison, to remove a prisoner from general association or structured activity to reduce the negative effect that a prisoner or prisoners may have on the general population. This is provided for under Rule 62 of the Prison Rules, 2007. There were 2 prisoners under the age of 21 who had their regime restricted for this reason. There were also 2 prisoners with restricted regimes for discipline reasons (Rule 67).
In July 2013, the Director General of the Irish Prison Service established a high level group to look at measures which can be introduced to reduce the number of prisoners currently held on restricted regimes with a view to ensuring that all receive, as a minimum standard, out of cell time of 3 hours per day to engage in exercise or activity. Since April 2015, prison governors have implemented individual case management plans for all prisoners who are accommodated on a 22 or 23 hour lock up regime.
Table 1 - Total number of prisoners under 21 years of age in custody.

Prison/Place of Detention 17 yrs 18 yrs 19 yrs 20 yrs Total
Castlerea Prison 0 1 13 15 29
Cloverhill Remand Prison 0 9 7 12 28
Cork Prison 0 5 8 6 19
Limerick Prison (F) 0 0 2 0 2
Limerick Prison (M) 0 4 4 8 16
Loughan House 0 0 1 1 2
Midlands Prison 0 4 10 15 29
Mountjoy Prison (F) 0 2 0 1 3
Mountjoy Prison (M) 0 0 1 5 6
Portlaoise Prison 0 0 0 4 4
Shelton Abbey 0 0 0 1 1
St. Patrick's Institution 1 0 0 0 1
Training Unit 0 0 0 1 1
Wheatfield 9 12 28 22 71
Total 10 37 74 91 212

Table 2 - Age of prisoners under 21 years of age on restricted regimes.
Age Number of Prisoners.
17 1
18 2
19 7
20 9
Total 19

Table 3 - Breakdown of restricted regime for prisoners under 21 years of age.
Regime Number of Prisoners
19 Hours 1
20 Hours 9
21 Hours 3
22 Hours 3
23 Hours 3
Total 19