IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Facts & Figures

1. The current prison population is 3,957 (8 July 2014)

2.  The rate of imprisonment in Ireland is just under 94 per 100,000 of population (Feb 2014)

3.  The prison population has increased by 400% since 1970.

4.  The average cost of imprisonment per prisoner was €65,404 in 2012, not including education spend; it was €65,359in 2011; €70,513 in 2010; €77,222 in 2009.

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.  Mountjoy Prison (male) held 710 prisoners in a prison that should hold no more than 517 on that day, according to the Inspector of Prisons. (8th March 2011)

10.  In 2012, 22 people were imprisoned in relation to the non-payment of a civil debt.

11.  There were 400 committals under immigration law in 2012.

12.  143 young people aged under 18 were committed to prison in 2012.

13.  There were 3,495 sentenced committals for road traffic offences* in 2011, representing 20% of the total.

14.  20.8% of sentenced committals in 2009 were for offences against property without violence.

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

16.  Dóchas women’s prison is operating at 27% over design capacity, with 133 women held there. (29th Jan 2014)

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 decreased by 345 compared with 12 months ago. (July 2013)

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

21.  90.3% of sentenced committals in 2009 were for non-violent offences.

22.  There was an increase of 10% in committals for non-payment of court ordered fines in 2012.

23.  82.4% of women committed under sentence to prison in 2009 were for non-violent offences.

24.  88% of sentenced committals in 2012 were for 12 months or less.

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 9 children imprisoned in St Patrick's Institution, which is in breach of international human rights standards. (31st July 2013.)

28.  There are 83 children and young people in custody in St. Patrick’s Institution. (16th August 2013.) 

29.  Since 1997, more than 1,930 new spaces have been added to an increasingly overcrowded prison system.

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

31.  There are 160 'protection' prisoners being held on 23-hr lock-up (31st May 2013).

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

(*This does not include those road traffic offences which would come under dangerous/negligent acts.)

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