Prisoner numbers have dropped below 4,000 for the first time since the end of 2009, with 3,983 people in custody on 9th Sept 2013 and 645 on temporary release. This follows a decade of accelerating rates of increase in the prison population, which saw the prison system reach 4,621 in March 2011.
Speaking to Crime Correspondent with the Irish Examiner, Cormac O'Keeffe, IPRT's Liam Herrick stated:
“After a decade of prison numbers spiralling completely out of control, we are finally seeing the prison population return to more manageable levels. Although it still has some way to go, the lessening of what had become chronic and dangerous overcrowding in Irish prisons now gives the Prison Service the opportunity to meet its obligations in terms of providing safe and humane custody and effective rehabilitation.”
Over recent years, IPRT has actively campaigned for the introduction of so-called 'front and back door' strategies to reduce the numbers in prison and address chronic and dangerous overcrowding across the Irish prison system. Find out more about how we achieve our goals here.
- Irish Examiner: 'Prisoner total below 4,000 for first time in four years'
- IPRT's Liam Herrick spoke to RTÉ 'Drivetime' about the figures. Listen back here (item begins at 2hrs 10mins).