IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Facts & Figures

1. There are 3,670 people in prison custody (26 Jan 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.  The average cost of imprisonment per prisoner was €65,542 in 2013, not including education expenditure.

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 2013, there were 8,121 committals to prison in relation to the non-payment of court ordered fines.

11.  There were 396 committals under immigration law in 2013.

12.  84 children aged under 18 were committed to prison in 2013.

13.  There were 3,759 sentenced committals for road traffic offences* in 2013.

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 decreased by 5.8% in 2013 compared with 2012.

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

21.  2013 saw a 2.6% increase in the average number of female offenders in custody.

22.  There was a decrease of 2.2% in committals for non-payment of court ordered fines in 2013 on 2012, from 8,304 in 2012 to 8,121 in 2013. 

23.  There were 11,182 committals under sentence for sentences of less than 12 months in 2013.

24.  89.5% of sentenced committals in 2013 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 16 children imprisoned in Ireland, which is in breach of international human rights standards. (26th Jan 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.

Prisons Info