This article, published in today's Irish Daily Mail, has reported that, on average, 18 people per day are sentenced for the non-payment of fines, with a significant number of these being discharged from prison within a few hours on 'temporary release'.
The IPS have stated in the article that this procedure is unacceptable and means that the procedure 'will only encourage people not to pay fines if they are certain there are no repercussions.'
The Department for Justice has said that the automatic release of prisoners was a policy developed by Dermot Ahern, and that no alternatives were introduced by the former minister to address the issue.
IPRT's Liam Herrick is quoted in the article:
'At a time of scarce resources, the continuing damaging and wasteful practice of imprisonment for fines should be a cause of national embarrassment.' He said that costs for prisons, the courts and gardaí were completely 'avoidable', adding that staged payments of fines should be introduced as soon as possible.'
- Get the full article here(posted on the Daliy Mail website)