THERE are 27 people waiting for access to a psychology service in Cork prison.
That is according to figures released by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. They are waiting for either triage or intervention.
The figure was revealed in answer to a parliamentary question on the issue of health services within prisons, put forward by Róisín Shortall of the Social Democrats.
Mr Flanagan’s figures showed that there are currently 614 inmates across the prison system awaiting an appointment. Cork and Limerick prisons both have 27 inmates on their waiting lists.
“In addition, all prisoners serving sentences for sex offences are screened for potential engagement in the Building Better Lives sex offender programme by the Prison Service Psychology Service and Probation Service,” Mr Flanagan said.
“The Irish Prison Service also employs 10 Assistant Psychologists across the prison estate on one year contracts, who are not included in the ratio of Prison Service Psychologists to prisoners. In the Irish Prison Service, Assistant Psychologists work predominantly in the area of primary care mental health and with young prisoners. They are heavily supervised by qualified psychologists.”
Mr Flanagan also said a steering group has been established to work on a health needs assessment of the Irish Prison Service.