224. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if sex offenders are entitled to one third remission if they engage in an incentivised regime and otherwise fulfil the criteria for entitlement. [10385/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that all prisoners with a sentence to which remission applies including sex offenders qualify for one quarter remission on the basis of good behaviour. In addition, all prisoners including sex offenders who have engaged in authorized structured activity may apply to receive enhanced remission of greater than one quarter but not exceeding one third of their sentence.
There is no automatic entitlement to enhanced remission as such. The principles governing the awarding of enhanced remission are contained under Rule 59 of the Prison Rules 2007 to 2014 (S.I. No. 52 of 2007 and S.I. No. 385 of 2014).
In order for a prisoner to be granted enhanced remission, the Minister for Justice of the day must be satisfied that the prisoner is less likely to re-offend and is better able to re integrate into the community.
All applications are assessed having regard to a range of criteria set out in the legislation including:
- the manner and extent to which the prisoner has engaged constructively in authorised structured activities;
- the manner and extent to which the prisoner has taken steps to address his or her offending behaviour;
- the nature and gravity of the offence to which the sentence of imprisonment being served by the prisoner relates;
- the sentence of imprisonment concerned and any recommendations of the Court that imposed the sentence;
- the period of the sentence served by the prisoner;
- the potential threat to the safety and security of members of the public (including the victim of the offence to which the sentence of imprisonment being served by the prisoner relates);
- any offence of which the prisoner was convicted before being convicted of the offence to which the sentence of imprisonment being served by him or her relates;
- the conduct of the prisoner while in custody or during a period of temporary release;
- any report or recommendation made by the Governor, the Garda Síochána, Probation Officer or any other person whom the Minister considers would be of assistance in enabling him or her to make a decision on such an application.