Shock rise in Prison Service and Prisoner accident/incident payouts – Ó Caoláin
The Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has expressed shock at the significant increase in compensation payments to members of the Prison Service and to prisoners.
Reacting to a reply he received to a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Justice and Equality that shows a significant rise in the actual payout on the back of claims for accidents and incidents across the network of prison sites, €5.658 million in 2016, the Sinn Fein Deputy also points to a steady growth year on year in claims made by prison staff since 2012.
Deputy Ó Caoláin has stated that he is writing to the new Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan TD on the matter seeking an explanation for the rise and the nature of the accidents and incidents involved.
The Cavan-Monaghan TD said:
“The monies being paid out all come ultimately out of the Prisons Vote in terms of exchequer spending. Whatever steps need to be taken to curtail the numbers of incidents and payout sums involved must be properly examined and employed if appropriate. The number of incidents is a concern and the monies involved are also a concern as these sums are needed to address already pressing issues within the Prison Service.”