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Community Return Programme

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Community Return Programme

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Senator


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Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter)

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Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter)

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Alan Shatter

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Snippet Contents:

One of the strategic actions contained in the Joint Irish Prison Service & Probation Service Strategic Plan 2013-2015 which was launched last week is the continued roll out of the community return programme, an incentivised scheme for earned temporary release under which offenders who pose no threat to the community are offered early temporary release in return for supervised community service.
This scheme has proven to be a great success and the initial feedback from the participants has been positive with many commenting on the supports and structure that it gives them on their release and how it has assisted in their transition back into the community. The work involved takes place in a supervised group setting on one of the many Community Service Sites located throughout the State. The placements operate on a non-profit basis, provide benefit to the community and many offer direct assistance to charitable organisations and local community groups.
I am pleased to note that over 510 prisoners have taken part in the initiative since it commenced in October 2011 with 131 prisoners on community return on 14 May this year. This is the highest total at any one time since the programme commenced. Compliance has been almost 90%; and the 10% who did not comply with the terms and conditions of their release on Community Return were re-committed to prison immediately to serve the rest of their sentence in custody. The community return programme has been a positive development, and as well as allowing prisoners to complete their sentence by way of performing a service to the community, has significantly helped these prisoners to successfully resettle in their communities.
Those currently on the scheme were released from the prisons as set out in the following table.
Institution
Number on Scheme
Shelton Abbey
33
Loughan House
28
Wheatfield Prison
12
Training Unit
11
Limerick Prison
9
Mountjoy Prison
8
Midlands Prison
8
St Patrick's Institution
6
Cork Prison
5
Portlaoise Prison
4
Castlerea Prison
4
Dochas Centre
3
Total
131