84. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which education and rehabilitative training in the prison system is offered to all first-time offenders, with particular reference to the need to encourage such persons away from a life of crime; the number of such persons that have benefitted from rehabilitation in each of the past five years; the number of repeat offenders that were offered places in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21307/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I wish to inform the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service provides a wide range of rehabilitative programmes to those in custody that include education, vocational training, healthcare, psychiatric, psychological, counselling, welfare and chaplaincy services. These programmes can offer purposeful activity to those in custody while serving their sentences and encourage them to lead law abiding lives on release. These programmes are available in all prisons and all prisoners are eligible to use the services, including first time offenders and repeat offenders. 
I can advise the Deputy that it is not possible to provide the statistics requested in relation to education and rehabilitation training, as the manner in which statistics are compiled does not distinguish between first time offenders and repeat offenders.