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Question

172. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the resources she has allocated to integrated sentence management in prisons to deliver prisoner centred rehabilitation. [12700/16]

Answer

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that a total of 24 dedicated Integrated Sentence Management Coordinators are operational in all prisons and open centres since March 2015. The allocation of dedicated staff in each establishment greatly enhances the effectiveness of the sentence management system and facilitates the growing numbers of prisoners participating in the process. These 24 Integrated Sentence Management Coordinators are further supported by prison management and the prison-based multi-disciplinary team, which includes the Psychology Service, the Education Service, the Work Training Service, the Chaplaincy Service, the Probation Service, the Resettlement Service, the Addiction Service and the prison Healthcare team.
Newly committed prisoners with a sentence of greater than one year are eligible to take part in Integrated Sentence Management. This involves a specific orientation in the delivery of services to prisoners with an emphasis on prisoners taking greater personal responsibility for their own development through active engagement with both specialist and non-specialist services in the prisons.
The Integrated Sentence Management process is a prisoner-centred, multi-disciplinary approach to working with prisoners, with provision for initial assessment, goal-setting and periodic review to measure progress. Important issues such as accommodation, employment and education are addressed to help the prisoner resettle into the community on release and reduce the risk of re-offending.
Integrated Sentence Management Coordinators are also active participants in sentence planning for certain categories of prisoners serving less than one year, for example, female prisoners, prisoners who have declared their risk of homelessness on release, or prisoners participating in the Community Support Scheme. The Integrated Sentence Management process has played a key role in the success of the Community Return Scheme.
The Irish Prison Service continues to invest in IT developments to support the Integrated Sentence Management process. In January 2016, the Irish Prison Service introduced a new central information platform on the Prisoner Information Management System (PIMS) where both Integrated Sentence Management Coordinators and members of the multi-disciplinary team can record a range of information with regard to ongoing sentence management for individual prisoners and raise post-release concerns. This centralised information-sharing resource will assist prison-based services to improve the transition from custody to the community for offenders with the overall aim of reducing risk to the individual and reducing risk of re-offending post-release.
The current Integrated Sentence Management policy is currently under review by the Irish Prison Service in order to improve service delivery to individual prisoners.