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The Public Service Agreement is facilitating a major transformation and modernization of the Prison Service.
The implementation of findings of Task (or efficiency) Reviews, which aim to deliver approximately €21m in savings, have been undertaken on all institutions and operations in the prison system and have allowed a significant reduction in staffing levels while maintaining services.
New and less costly Prison Administration and Support Officer grades are being introduced in 2012. This will involve the redeployment of 140 staff from elsewhere in the civil service and will free-up office based prison officers for frontline work. It is estimated that the introduction of these new grades will yield approximately €3 – 4m in savings annually.
Eight existing prisons are being merged into three campuses. New campus governance arrangements and shared services at the three major prison complexes (Mountjoy Campus, Midlands Campus and West Dublin Campus) are being implemented. This involves the merger of governance arrangements, management grade staffing and the development of shared services for activities such as administration, maintenance, healthcare etc. This will help to deliver substantial savings and facilitate the further development of shared services on each campus.
New prisoner accommodation was opened at Wheatfield prison with a lower staff compliment of 82. This represented a saving of 30 staff due to agreement on new work practices.