IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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The Northern Ireland Prison Population in 2009

24th June 2010

The Northern Ireland Prison Population in 2009 is a National Statistics publication which provides information on the size and composition of the prison population in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2009. The report highlights a number of key findings:

  • The overall annual average prison population in Northern Ireland decreased by almost 2% from an average of 1,490 in 2008 to an average of 1,465 in 2009.  However, in Ireland figures from the Irish Prison Service show that the annual average prison population rose by 10%.
  • In Northern Ireland the overall prison population was predominantly male (97% in 2009).  However, in Ireland 88.2% of the population was male whilst 11.8% was female.
  • In Northern Ireland  prisoners with sentences of one year and under formed 19% of the prison population. 
  • Northern Ireland had a rate of 88 prisoners per 100,000 population in 2008 compared with 153 in England & Wales and 152 in Scotland. The Republic of Ireland had a rate of 76 prisoners per 100,000 population. The USA had the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, 756 prisoners per 100,000 population, followed by the Russian Federation on 629.
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