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Question

233. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of complaints received in 2018 and to date in 2019 that were upheld, not upheld, not proven, terminated or incomplete, respectively; the length of time, that is, minimum, maximum and average it took to complete and communicate the outcomes of complaints to prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24907/19]

234. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of category A complaints received in 2018 and to date in 2019 that were upheld, not upheld, not proven, terminated or incomplete, respectively; the length of time, that is, minimum, maximum and average it took to complete and communicate the outcomes of complaints to prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24908/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 233 and 234 together.
I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that the information requested by the Deputy in relation to the number complaints, including category A complaints, received in 2018 and to date in 2019 that were upheld, not upheld, not proven, terminated or incomplete is contained in the tables attached. The 2019 figures are as at 12th June, 2019.
All prisoners have the right to make a complaint at any time and all complaints are treated with the utmost seriousness. Complaints can vary in nature. Some may relate to, for example, conditions of accommodation, quality of food or access to services. Other complaints can be more serious such as allegations of assault, mistreatment or intimidation.
Under the Irish Prison Service Complaints System there are 6 categories of complaints depending on the seriousness of the complaint. The most serious being Category A Complaints which are investigated by persons outside the Prison Service.
Category A complaints are complaints alleging assault or use of excessive force against a prisoner, or ill treatment, racial abuse, discrimination, intimidation, threats or any other conduct against a prisoner of a nature and gravity likely to bring discredit on the Irish Prison Service.
I am informed by my officials that the average length of time it takes to investigate a Category A complaints is 2.9 months, the average time for all other complaints investigated by prison management is 1.5 months. Throughout the prison estate, all efforts are put in place to relay the outcome of any investigation to the complainant and all other parties involved, (where appropriate) within a week of receipt of same.

CATEGORY A COMPLAINTS ONLY 2018 2019
Total number of Complaints received 80 25
OF THAT TOTAL:
Total number upheld 4 2
Total number not upheld 46 4
Total number not proven 4 0
Total number terminated 3 0
Total number incomplete 12 13
Total number withdrawn 9 0
Total number part upheld 0 2
Total number not investigated 2 4
ALL OTHER COMPLAINTS 2018 *2019
Total number of Complaints received 977 359
OF THAT TOTAL:
Total number upheld 300 104
Total number not upheld 309 101
Total number not proven 162 39
Total number terminated 98 26
Total number incomplete 108 89

*Totals reflect the number of complaints as at 12th June 2019