The Irish Prison Service Annual Report for 2009 reveals that 760 people served sentences for drug offences in 2009, which is a 34% increase on the 2008 figure, writes Jennifer Hough in the Irish Examiner.
Of these, more then 610 people were sent to prison for upwards of three years, 301 offenders were sentenced to 5-10 years, and 119 were given sentences of 10 years or more.
The article quotes Liam Herrick of IPRT, who points out that an increase in these numbers is no indicator of the success of the criminal justice system, given that evidence demonstrates that prison is an ineffective means to preventing re-offending.
Hough also emphasizes that the difficulties with controlling drugs behind the prison walls still continue. In 2009, 2,424 people were on methadone. The Irish Prison Service actually cared for 20% of the people on methadone nationally.
Read more here:
Irish Examiner: Low-level dealers get big jail terms