Wednesday, 22 June 1988
Dáil Eireann Debate
Minister for Justice (Mr. Collins): £6 million has been voted in 1988 for capital expenditure and £2.669 million for maintenance on prisons and places of detention. The money provides for the final account for the practically completed new custodial accommodation at Wheatfield; for development of security in Portlaoise, Limerick and Mountjoy; and for major upgrading in several places of services related to ventilation, water supply, heating, electricity, catering, laundry, sewerage and fire precautions.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Collins): The information sought by the Deputy in respect of expenditure on prisons over the past five years is set out in the Appropriation Accounts for those years. The Revised Book of Estimates for the Public Service in respect of 1988 contains the estimate provision for this year. It would not be possible to indicate what the expenditure on prisons will be in future years as this will be contingent on future decisions in relation to financial allocations.
Mr. Cluskey: asked the Minister for Justice (a) the crime statistics (b) prison statistics for the latest year for which  figures are available and (c) projections of prison accommodation requirements to 1995.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Collins): The latest published figures in relation to crime statistics are contained in the Commissioner's Report on Crime for 1986, copies of which are available in the Library of the Houses of the Oireachtas. The figures in this report show a total of 86,574 indictable crimes recorded by the gardaí in 1986 — a decrease of 5.2 per cent on the 1985 figure. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Commissioner's Report on Crime for 1987, which is due to be published shortly, will show a figure of 85,358 indictable crimes — a further reduction, this time of 1.4 per cent on the figures for the previous year.
The latest published information available in relation to prison statistics is contained in the Annual Report on Prisons and Places of Detention for the year 1986, copies of which are available in the Library of the Houses of the Oireachtas. The statistical element of the annual report for 1987 is currently being compiled.
In relation to projections on prison accommodation, I would refer the Deputy to the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Penal System which put forward a series of projections of prison population up to 1995.
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