Political responsibility for the Prison System in Ireland is vested in the Minister for Justice and Law Reform. The Irish Prison Service operates as an executive agency within the Department of Justice and Law Reform. It is headed by a Director General supported by 7 Directors. A non-executive Prisons Authority Interim Board provides advice and guidance in the management of the prison system.
The Irish Prison Service deals with male offenders who are 16 years of age or over and female offenders who are 17 years of age or over.
The mission of the Irish Prison Service is to provide safe, secure and humane custody for people who are sent to prison. The Service is committed to managing custodial sentences in a way which encourages and supports prisoners in their endeavouring to live law abiding and purposeful lives as valued members of society.
The Irish Prison Service is administered centrally with its headquarters located at: IDA Business Park, Ballinalee Road, Longford, Co. Longford Telephone: +353 43 33 35100 Fax: +353 43 33 35371
There are 14 institutions in the Irish Prison System consisting of 11 traditional "closed" institutions, two open centres, which operate with minimal internal and perimeter security, and one "semi-open" facility with traditional perimeter security but minimal internal security (the Training Unit). The majority of female prisoners are accommodated in the purpose built "Dóchas Centre" with the remainder accommodated in Limerick Prison.
Additional information can be obtained from the Irish Prisons website at: www.irishprisons.ie
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