€341 million set aside to run prisons in Portlaoise and elsewhere in #budget2018

Portlaoise Prison

Portlaoise Prison

Some €341 million will be spent running prisons in Portlaoise and elsewhere next year with a revised capital budget paving the way for a new jail and upgrade to others, according to the Minister responsible and Laois TD Charlie Flanagan.

In response to Budget 2017, the Minister for Justice confirmed spending budgets for the Irish Prison Service run jails in Portlaoise and the rest of the country.

"The revised Prisons Capital budget over the period 2018 to 2021 will be in the region of €120 million and will enable the construction commencing in 2018 of a new modern wing in Limerick Prison, with in cell sanitation and a dedicated standalone new female prison for the Munster region.

"The capital funding will also allow for the improvement of facilities in Portlaoise Prison, Shelton Abbey and Loughan House Open Centre, the Dóchas Centre and at Cloverhill Prison and Wheatfield Place of Detention.

"It will also facilitate the development of a masterplan for the Mountjoy Campus aimed at centralising and enhancing shared services on the site," said the Minister.

Major change is in store for the high security Portlaoise Prison with the plan to bring slopping out to an end on E-wing which houses republican and other criminals.

Minister Flanagan also announced additional funding to provide a step down facility for women prisoners in the Dublin area.

“The step down facility is a joint venture between the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service aimed at supporting re-integration after sentence, preventing further crime and furthering the common good by ensuring that offenders can turn their lives around.

"The new facility will accommodate women for a period of time following custody, or on probation supervision in the community, who are assessed as suitable to reside in the community and have accommodation and other needs requiring support," he said.

Minister Flanagan said it is envisaged that the service provider will coordinate individualised care plans for this vulnerable group with complex needs, linking women to a variety of community based services and equipping them with skills to move towards full independent living post sentence.  

"To ensure our communities are safe, we must ensure that our prison service can be effective in rehabilitating prisoners and step-down facilities are an important part of that overall goal,” he said.

Gross expenditure budgets for the eight votes in the Minister for Justice's area total €2.634 billion and cover the following votes: An Garda Siochána (€1.650 billion), Prisons (€341 million), Courts Service €132 million) Department of Justice and Equality (€460 million), Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (€6.7 million), Property Registration Authority €29.3 million), Valuation Office (€11.6 million) and Policing Authority (€3.3 million).

To continue reading this archived article for FREE,
please just kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.