IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Facts & Figures

1.  There are 3,688 people in prison custody in Ireland (24 August 2015)

2.  The rate of imprisonment in Ireland is approximately 88 per 100,000 of population (Aug 2014)

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 330 prisoners in Cork, Limerick and Portlaoise prison without in-cell sanitation. (July 2014)

10.  In 2014, the committals to prison for the non-payment of court ordered fines rose from 8,965 to 8,979.

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 129% of its recommended maximum capacity. (26th Jan 2015)

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

16.  Dóchas women’s prison is operating at capacity, with 104 women held there. (26th January 2015)

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

18.  Of 193 prisoners held on 23-hour lock up, 44 are aged under 21. (19th March 2013)

19.  The total number in prison has increased 2.7%, from 13,055 in 2013, to 13,408 in 2014.

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

21.  In 2014 there was a 3.8% increase in the average number of female offenders in custody.

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 to 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 human rights standards. (29th April 2015.)

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 42 'protection' prisoners being held on 23-hr lock-up (July 2014).

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