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Prisons (Visiting Committees) Act, 1925

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Number 11 of 1925.


PRISONS (VISITING COMMITTEES) ACT, 1925.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definitions.

2.

A visiting committee to be constituted for every prison.

3.

Duties and powers of visiting committees.

4.

Adaptation of section 14 (4) of the Prevention of Crime Act, 1908.

5.

Minister may make rules.

6.

Cesser of existing committees and powers.

7.

Repeals.

8.

Short title.

SCHEDULE

Enactments repealed.

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Number 11 of 1925.


PRISONS (VISITING COMMITTEES) ACT, 1925.


AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW IN RELATION TO THE APPOINTMENT, POWERS AND DUTIES OF VISITING COMMITTEES OF PRISONS. [9th April, 1925.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTÁT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Definitions.

1.In this Act—

the word “prison” means any prison under the control and management of the General Prisons Board and includes any part of such prison set apart for the confinement of any particular class of prisoner;

the word “prisoner” includes persons undergoing preventive detention;

the expression “general prison” means any prison which is neither a convict prison nor a prison set apart for the confinement of persons undergoing preventive detention;

the expression “the Minister” means the Minister for Justice.

A visiting committee to be constituted for every prison.

2.(1) There shall be constituted in manner provided by this section a visiting committee for every general prison, every convict prison, and every prison or part of a prison set apart for the confinement of persons undergoing preventive detention, and every such visiting committee shall consist of such number of responsible persons, not being more than twelve nor less than six, as the Minister shall think proper.

(2) The members of every such visiting committee as aforesaid shall be appointed by the Minister and every member so appointed shall hold office as such member for such period not exceeding three years as the Minister shall think proper and shall specify when appointing him.

(3) No person other than a member of Dáil Eireann or of Seanad Eireann who is in receipt of salary paid out of the Central Fund or money provided by the Oireachtas shall be eligible for appointment as a member of any such visiting committee as aforesaid.

(4) Every such visiting committee as aforesaid appointed for any prison in which female prisoners may be confined shall include amongst its members at least two women.

Duties and powers of visiting committees.

3.(1) Every visiting committee appointed under this Act shall conform to and observe such of the rules made by the Minister under this Act as shall apply to them, and, subject to such rules, it shall be the duty of every such visiting committee—

(a) from time to time and at frequent intervals to visit the prison in respect of which they are appointed and there to hear any complaints which may be made to them by any prisoner confined in such prison and, if so requested by the prisoner, to hear such complaint in private; and

(b) to report to the Minister any abuses observed or found by them in such prison; and

(c) to report to the Minister any repairs to such prison which may appear to them to be urgently needed; and

(d) to report to the Minister on any matter relating to such prison on which the committee shall think it expedient or shall have been requested by the Minister so to report.

(2) Every such visiting committee and every member thereof shall be entitled at all times to visit either collectively or individually the prison in respect of which they are appointed and shall at all times have free access either collectively or individually to every part of such prison.

(3) Every such visiting committee may, subject to and in accordance with rules made by the Minister under this Act, do all or any of the following things in relation to prisoners confined in the prison in respect of which they are appointed, that is to say:—

(a) grant special privileges to any prisoner as a reward for good conduct or on account of ill-health or for other sufficient cause;

(b) award special punishment to any prisoner guilty of a breach of prison discipline;

(c) hold inquiries on oath into charges against prisoners of breach of prison discipline.

(4) Every report made by a visiting committee to the Minister shall be open to inspection, without charge, at any reasonable time, by any person who makes application to the Minister for that purpose.

Adaptation of section 14 (4), of the Prevention of Crime Act, 1908.

4.Sub-section (4) of section 14 of the Prevention of Crime Act, 1908, shall be construed and have effect as if the visiting committee constituted under this Act was substituted in that sub-section for the board of visitors mentioned therein.

Minister may make rules.

5.(1) The Minister may by order make rules prescribing the duties and powers of visiting committees appointed under this Act and the manner in which such committees shall perform the duties and exercise the powers imposed or conferred on them by this Act or by such rules.

(2) All rules made by the Minister under this section shall as soon as may be after they are made be laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and if either of such Houses shall within twenty-one days on which such House has sat after any such rule is laid before it pass a resolution annulling such rule such rule shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

Cesser of existing committees and powers.

6.(1) Immediately upon the passing of this Act all visiting committees appointed under or in pursuance of any enactment repealed by this Act shall cease to exist.

(2) Immediately upon the passing of this Act all powers vested by law in any municipal corporation or other local authority or body of appointing visiting committees, or any members of any visiting committee, for any prison shall terminate and cease to be exercisable, and all visiting committees and members of visiting committees so appointed shall cease to exist or hold office.

Repeals.

7.The enactments mentioned in the Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that Schedule.

Short title.

8.This Act may be cited as the Prisons (Visiting Committees) Act, 1925.

SCHEDULE.

Enactments repealed.

Session and Chapter

Short Title

Extent of repeal

40 & 41 Vic., c. 49.

The General Prisons (Ireland) Act, 1877.

Sections 24, 25 & 26.

47 & 48 Vic., c. 36.

The Prisons (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1884.

Section 3.

61 & 62 Vic., c. 41.

The Prison Act, 1898.

Section 3.

8 Edw. VII., c. 59.

The Prevention of Crime Act, 1908.

Sub-section (4) of section 13.

4 & 5 George V., c. 58.

The Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1914.

In sub-section (8) of section 43 the words “Section three (which relates to boards of visitors for convict prisons)”. sub-section (9) of section 43.