Publication of the report of the Inspector of Prisons' Inspection of Arbour Hill Prison and the report of the Arbour Hill Prison Visiting Committee 2011.

2 April 2012

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter T.D., has today published the report of the Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly, of an inspection of Arbour Hill Prison and the report of the Arbour Hill Prison Visiting Committee for 2011.

The Minister welcomed both reports which describe Arbour Hill as a well run prison which promotes an ethos of constructive support. While the Inspector of Prisons highlights that there are some issues in relation to overcrowding and the detention of elderly prisoners, it is evident from his report that prisoners in Arbour Hill Prison are engaged in structured activity and that programmes are in place to aid their reintegration into society on their release. Minister Shatter said that "he was pleased to announce that following on from the Inspector’s report, the Irish Prison Service has prepared an Action Plan for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Inspector’s report. In particular, as part of the Irish Prison Service Strategic Plan 2012 – 2014, it is intended to introduce a specific strategy for older prisoners." 

The Inspector and the Visiting Committee have complimented the Governor, his management team and those that work in the prison on the high standards maintained within the physical environment of the prison. The Inspector also commented on the positive atmosphere in the prison among staff and prisoners and the fact that staff there are well motivated and interested.

Minister Shatter said "I too would like to compliment the Governor and staff of Arbour Hill Prison for their continued good work. Arbour Hill Prison is a good example of how things should be done. I am particularly pleased to note that it is a well run prison which is to the credit of everyone involved. I am also pleased to note the Visiting Committee's commendation of food standards in the prison".

The Minister added that "Arbour Hill Prison plays a key role in the treatment of sex offenders. Sex offenders treatment is centred in Arbour Hill Prison where such offenders undertake the Building Better Lives (BBL) programme which was introduced in January 2009. Since its inception, 105 prisoners have participated in the BBL and 71 offenders have completed the programme. At present there are 24 prisoners participating at various stages". 

The reports are available on the Department's website