The Psychology Service forms part of the Care & Rehabilitation Directorate of the Irish Prison Service. It provides mental health services to people in prison (coping with imprisonment, depression, anxiety etc.) and works with people to address factors that place them at risk of re-offending (anger, substance abuse, sexual and violent offending etc.) in collaboration with multi-disciplinary services.
The Service is made up of 1 Head of Service, 5.8 Senior Psychologists and 13 Staff Grade Psychologists. Six Assistant Psychologists will begin working in the Service from August 2016. Their role is to support implementation of increased mental health initiatives across the prison estate, and to contribute to risk assessments which will inform sentence management for young people in custody aged 18 – 24 years old.
The Service is heavily involved in the delivery of the Building Better Lives National programme for people convicted of sexual violence in the Midlands and Arbour Hill prisons in conjunction with The Probation Service. Group and individual intervention programmes for people convicted of violence are available in each prison where a Psychology Service is available.
The Director General commissioned a review of the Psychology Service in 2015 by Canadian Psychologist, Dr Frank Porporino. The report makes key recommendations for the Service, in particular as a key partner in driving change in the organisation. To review the report, click here.