IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Facts & Figures

1.  There are 3,772 people in prison custody in Ireland (14th Apr 2016)

2.  The rate of imprisonment in Ireland is approximately 80 per 100,000 of population (30th Oct 2015). 

3.  The prison population increased by 400% from 1970 to 2011.

4.  In 2014 the average cost of an “available, staffed prison space” was €68,959, which is an increase of €3,417 from 2013 figures.

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.  From 1997-2011, the numbers in custody increased by almost 100%.

9.  There are 292 prisoners in Cork, Limerick and Portlaoise prison slopping out, without in-cell sanitation. (April 2015)

10.  In 2015, the committals to prison for the non-payment of court ordered fines rose from 8,979in 2014 to 9,892.

11.  There amount of committals under immigration law rose from 396 to 407 in 2014.

12.  In 2014 the amount of children under 18 who were committed to prison rose from the 2013 figure of 84 to 90 in 2014. 

13.  The number of sentenced committals for road traffic offences rose from 3,759 in 2013, to 4,153 in 2014.

14.  Cork Prison is operating at 160% of its recommended maximum capacity. (14th Apr 2016)

15.  In 2013, the annual cost per child in child detention schools was €314,000.

16.  Dóchas women’s prison is operating at 110% of its recommended maximum capacity. (14th Apr 2016)

17.  Prisoners in Ireland are 25 times more likely to come from (and return to) a seriously deprived area.

18.  Of 339 prisoners on restricted regimes, 51 are being held on 22+ hour lock up. (Jan 2016)

19.  The total number of individual persons committed to prison rose by 5.9%, from 13,408 in 2014 to 14,194 in 2015.

20.  85% of fine defaulters are back in custody within four years.

21.  In 2014 there was a 3.8% decrease in the average number of women in custody at any one time. However, the number of female persons committed to prison each year rose by 196% between 2004 and 2014. 

22.  The number of persons committed to prison due to non-payment of a court ordered fine during 2014 increased by 10.6% on the 2013 figure. The numbers rose from 8,121 in 2013 to 8,979 in 2014.

23.  The number of committals for sentences less than 12 months increased from the 2013 figure of 11,182 to 11,596 in 2014. This is a 3.7% increase.

24.  In 2014 the number of sentenced committals for 12 months or less increased to 90.2%.

25. In 2008, of the 520 prisoners who enrolled in the school at Mountjoy Prison, 20% could not read or write and 30% could only sign their names.

26.  There were 8,304 committals for non-payment of court-ordered fines in 2012, including 242 imprisoned for failing to pay fines imposed for not having a tv licence.

27. There are 11 children imprisoned in Ireland, which is in breach of international children's rights . (14th Apr 2016.)

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.  The Irish prisoner population reached 4,587 persons in custody on April 12, 2011.

31.  There are 51 'protection' prisoners being held on 22+ hour lock-up (Jan 2016).

32.  Over 70% of prisoners are unemployed on committal and a similar percentage self-report as not having any particular trade or occupation.