Tuesday, 31 January 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
489. Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the service his Department will provide for a person (details supplied) whose mental and health condition brings that person into conflict with the law in order to avoid periods of imprisonment that are totally inappropriate for that person’s condition and a misuse of expensive prison places; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3226/06]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): The Irish Prison Service must accept all committals sent to the various institutions by the courts. Prisoners with mental health problems have access to medical, nursing, psychiatric, and psychology services within the prison system. In cases where qualified medical practitioners decide that a prisoner requires in-patient treatment, the prisoner may be transferred to the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, or another hospital, if appropriate.
The prisoner in question was transferred to the Central Mental Hospital for treatment on 22 December 2005. As he is a remand prisoner, it is a matter for the courts to determine when he can be released from custody.
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