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160 prisoners to be granted temporary release for Christmas

The majority of the prisoners come from lower security institutions.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Justice has announced that 160 prisoners will be granted temporary release this Christmas.

Over 60 per cent of the prisoners being released are in lower security institutions, including the Training Unit Semi-Open Prison and Shelton Abbey Open Centres.

All of the prisoners being released are nearing the end of their sentences.

The Department of Justice has emphasised that the overriding concern when considering the applications for temporary release was the safety of the public.

The periods of release vary from a few hours to up to 7 nights. The vast majority of prisoners will be required to report to their local garda station during the release.

Any prisoner who breaks the conditions of their release may be arrested and returned immediately to prison by the gardaí.

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The number of prisoners being released is a slight increase on last year. The figures for the past four years are:

  • 2007: 138
  • 2008: 107
  • 2009: 176
  • 2010: 134
  • 2011: 160

Guess how many people have been jailed for not paying fines this year? >

Reports reveal issues in Irish prisons >

About the author:

Christine Bohan

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