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Question

85. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which research has shown the benefit of rehabilitative training for prisoners in each of the past five years to date, with particular reference to its effect on recidivism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21308/19]

90. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which his Department continually reviews the effect of education and rehabilitation within the prisons as a means of discouraging recidivism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21314/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 90 together.
The Irish Prison wish to inform the Deputy that in line with Government policy in focussing on rehabilitative initiatives, the Irish Prison Service has in recent years, placed a much greater emphasis on rehabilitative and support services to prevent reoffending and support desistance from crime. The Irish Prison Service provides a wide range of rehabilitative programmes that include education, vocational training, healthcare, psychiatric, psychological, counselling, welfare and spiritual services. Access to these services is a critical feature for offenders in addressing their offending behaviour.
While specific statistics are not available, evidence shows that addressing such factors as education, employment, housing, drug and alcohol misuse, attitudes and self control, institutionalisation and life skills contributes to reduced reoffending.
The latest data in relation to recidivism rates for offenders who were given a custodial sentence or community sanction is contained in the fourth set of recidivism studies published by the Central Statistics Office in November 2016.
There has been a continued reduction in the recidivism level for the cohort of prisoners released in 2010, these are the latest figures available on the Central Statistics Office website. The Prison Recidivism Studies for 2007, 2008 and 2009 showed a recidivism rate of 55%, 51% and 47.5% respectively. The overall figure for 2010 is 45.1% which represents a reduction of 10% since these studies commenced.
The Central Statistics Office are currently working on the studies for the cohort of people released in 2011 and 2012 and it is anticipated that these reports will be published in the next 6 months.