IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Facts:
  • 1. The current prison population is 3,892 (11 Aug 2014)
  • 2. The rate of imprisonment in Ireland is 88 per 100,000 of population (Aug 2014)
  • 3. The prison population has increased by 400% since 1970.
  • 4. The average cost of imprisonment per prisoner was €65,542 in 2013, not including education expenditure.
  • 5. 60% of people serving sentences for 6 months or less are poor, and are often homeless people.
  • 6. The majority of Irish prisoners have never sat a State exam and over half left school before the age of 15.
  • 7. Four in ten children (under 16 years) on custodial remand have a learning disability.
  • 8. Over the past 14 years, the numbers in custody have increased by almost 100%.
  • 9. There are 330 prisoners in Cork, Limerick and Portlaoise prison without in-cell sanitation. (July 2014)
  • 10. In 2012, 22 people were imprisoned in relation to the non-payment of a civil debt.
  • 11. There were 400 committals under immigration law in 2012.
  • 12. 84 children aged under 18 were committed to prison in 2013.
  • 13. There were 3,495 sentenced committals for road traffic offences in 2011, representing 20% of the total.
  • 14. Cork Prison is operating at 112% capacity. (1st Aug 2014)
  • 15. In 2013, the annual cost per child in child detention schools was €314,000.
  • 16. Dóchas women’s prison is operating at 30% over design capacity, with 137 women held there. (7th March 2014)
  • 17. Prisoners in Ireland are 25 times more likely to come from (and return to) a seriously deprived area.
  • 18. Of 193 prisoners held on 23-hour lock up, 44 are aged under 21. (19th March 2013)
  • 19. The total number in prison has decreased by 5.8% in 2013 compared with 2012.
  • 20. 85% of fine defaulters are back in custody within four years.
  • 21. 2.6% increase on the 2012 average number of female offenders in custody. (2013)
  • 22. There was a decrease of 2.2% in committals for non-payment of court ordered fines in 2013 on the 2012 figure, i.e., from 8,304 in 2012 to 8,121 in 2013.
  • 24. 89.5% of sentenced committals in 2013 were for 12 months or less.
  • 25. In 2008, of 520 prisoners who enrolled in school at Mountjoy Prison, 20% could not read or write and 30% could only sign their names.
  • 26. 8,304 committals for non-payment of court-ordered fines in 2012.
  • 27. There are 3 children imprisoned in St Patrick's Institution, which is in breach of human rights law. (5 Sept 2014)
  • 28. There were 348 prisoners (10% of the prison population) aged 50+ (July 2014)
  • 29. There was a 75% increase in daily prison population aged 50+ from 2008 to 2014
  • 30. Since 1997 more than 1,930 new prison spaces have been added to the prison system.
  • 31. There are 42 'protection' prisoners being held on 23-hr lock-up (July 2014).
  • 32. Over 70% of prisoners are unemployed on committal.

Welcome to the Irish Penal Reform Trust

The Irish Penal Reform Trust is Ireland's leading non-governmental organisation campaigning for the rights of people in prison and the progressive reform of Irish penal policy.

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