The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has confirmed that two killers are on temporary release from jails here.
In a written Dáil reply, Ms Fitzgerald said there are currently 536 prisoners — or 12.4%— on temporary release.
Ms Fitzgerald said the 536 figure includes 136 prisoners serving less than three months solely for the non-payment of a court fine and 199 prisoners on a structured temporary release programme.
Ms Fitzgerald provided the figures in response to a Dáil question tabled by Fianna Fáil Justice spokesman Niall Collins.
He said yesterday: “It’s clear that the Government is using the procedure of temporary release as a safety valve to stay below capacity and ease overcrowding in many prisons, but this is leading to cases where people with convictions for serious crimes are out in communities instead of serving time for their offences.
“At the moment, there are almost 850 people between 16 and 25 years of age in our prisons across the country. I believe there should be more done to target this age group with support and intervention to avoid them ending up in the prison system.”
Ms Fitzgerald said that, along with the two prisoners jailed for homicide offences, a further 55 jailed for attempts/threat to murder, assaults, harassment and related offences are on temporary release.
A further 23 jailed for robbery, extortion and hijacking offences are also on temporary release.
Ms Fitzgerald also confirmed there are three people jailed for kidnapping and related offences on temporary release.
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