Prisons Act 2007

6.

Certification of prisoner custody officers.

6.— (1) An application may be made to the Minister by or on behalf of any person for a certificate that the person is, in the opinion of the Minister, a fit and proper person to perform the functions of a prisoner custody officer.

(2) An application under this section shall be in such form and accompanied by such fee as may be determined by the Minister and shall also be accompanied by such information or documentation as the Minister may reasonably require to enable him or her to perform his or her functions under this section.

(3) The Minister may, for the purposes of performing his or her functions under this section, make such further inquiries as he or she considers appropriate.

(4) It shall be the duty of an applicant for a certificate, at all times, to provide the Minister with such information as he or she may reasonably require to enable him or her to perform his or her functions under this section.

(5) Subject to subsection (7), the Minister may, on an application under this section, issue a certificate in respect of the person to whom the application relates.

(6) The Minister shall not issue a certificate unless he or she is satisfied that the person—

( a) is of good character,

( b) is capable of performing the functions of prisoner custody officer,

( c) has undergone such course of training relating to, or has such experience of, custody of prisoners as would, in the opinion of the Minister, enable the person to perform the functions of a prisoner custody officer in an efficient manner, and

( d) is otherwise a fit and proper person to perform the functions of a prisoner custody officer.

(7) It shall be a condition of a certificate that the person in respect of whom it is issued shall, in the performance of his or her functions as a prisoner custody officer—

( a) not contravene the terms of an agreement under section 5 , and

( b) comply with the provisions of this Act and any prison rules relating to the treatment of prisoners in custody.

(8) The Minister may attach such other conditions to a certificate as he or she considers appropriate.

(9) A certificate shall remain in force for such period, not exceeding 5 years, as is specified in the certificate.

(10) Where the Minister refuses to issue a certificate, he or she shall, by notice in writing, inform the applicant of the reasons for his or her so refusing.

(11) If the Minister refuses to issue a certificate to an applicant, the applicant may, not later than 6 weeks from the date on which he or she receives a notice under subsection (10), or such later date as the court may permit, appeal to the court for an order directing the Minister to issue a certificate to the applicant.

(12) The court may, on the hearing of an appeal—

( a) dismiss the appeal and affirm the refusal of the Minister to issue the certificate, or

( b) allow the appeal and direct the Minister to issue a certificate to the applicant.

(13) The Minister shall comply with a direction of the court under this section.

(14) A person who knowingly or recklessly provides the Minister with information or documentation that is false or misleading in a material respect is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.

(15) A person who—

( a) forges or utters, knowing it to be forged, a certificate purporting to have been issued under this section (in this subsection referred to as a “forged certificate”),

( b) alters with intent to deceive or defraud or utters, knowing it to be so altered, a certificate (in this subsection referred to as an “altered certificate”), or

( c) without lawful authority or other reasonable excuse, has in his or her possession a forged certificate or an altered certificate,

is guilty of an offence and liable—

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.

(16) In this section—

“applicant” includes a person on whose behalf another person applies for a certificate;

“court” means the Circuit Court for the circuit in which—

( a) the applicant resides, or

( b) the contractor concerned has his or her principal office in the State.