IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Facts & Figures

1. There are 3,753 people in prison custody in Ireland (01 August 2017)

2. The rate of imprisonment in Ireland is approximately 75 per 100,000 of population (August 2017). 

3. In 2016, the average cost of an “available, staffed prison space” was €69,421.

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

5. In 2016 there were 10,996 prisoners committed serving sentences of less than 12 months. This represented 90.4% of all committals to prison under sentence in 2016. 

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. (Anderson & Graham 2007)

8. From 1996 to 2016, the numbers in custody increased by almost 70% (2,191 to 3,718).

9. There are 60 people in prison slopping out, without in-cell sanitation. 

10. In 2016, there were 8,439 committals to prison for the non-payment of court ordered fines, a decrease from 9,883 in 2015.

11. Committals under immigration increased to 421 in 2016 from 342 in 2015.

12. In 2016 the number of committals to prison of children aged under 18 was 39; of these, 1 was 16 years old.

13. The number of sentenced committals for road traffic offences decreased from 4,756 in 2015 to 3,791 in 2016.

14.  The average number of females in custody was 140 in 2016, a 6.9% increase on the 2015 average of 131.

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

16. Dóchas women’s prison is operating at 115% of its recommended maximum capacity. (01 August 2017)

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

18. The number of prisoners on restricted regimes in July 2017 decreased by 15 persons, compared to April 2017. Figures show that there has been a decrease from 430 (April 2017) to 415 (July 2017), a decrease of 3%.

19. The average daily number of prisoners in custody rose by over 16% in the ten year period between 2006 (3,191) to 2016 (3,718).

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

21. The the daily average number of female offenders in custody rose by 29% in the ten year period between 2006 and 2016. 

22. As of July 2017, 1,568 (42%) prisoners were required to use the toilet in the presence of another prisoner. Although this is a decrease in overall numbers from 2014, it is an increase in percentage terms as 1,610 (40.%) prisoners were required to use the toilet in the presence of another in July 2014.

23. Committals under sentence of less than 3 months decreased by 13.8% (from 10,229 in 2015 to 8,820 in 2016).

24. On November 30th 2016, 635 (17%) prisoners were on remand.

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.  As of July 2017, 2,031 (55%) prisoners were accommodated in single cells. This is an increase on July 2014 figures of 1,978 (49%) prisoners.

27. As of July 2017, 415 prisoners in total were subject to a restricted regime. 384 were restricted on grounds of order (Rule 63), of which 368 were there of their own request. 16 prisoners had been restricted on grounds of order (Rule 62).

28. As of August 2017, there were 406 sentenced prisoners (14% of sentenced prison population) aged 50+. As of August 2014, there were only 347 sentenced prisoners aged 50+ (10.8% of sentenced prison population). 

29. Over a quarter (26.7%) of all persons committed to prison in 2016 declared Dublin as their country of residence.

30. Numbers committed on a life sentence decreased from 19 in 2015 to 15 in 2016.

31. According to the July 2017 census of restricted regimes, there are 10 prisoners being held on 22+ lock-up. This is a decrease of 34 (77%) on April 2017, and a 201 (95%) decrease since the commencement of the survey in July 2013.

32.  In 2011, over 70% of prisoners were unemployed on committal and a similar percentage self-report as not having any particular trade or occupation.