Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# Not fine
Over 8,000 people were jailed last year for not paying small fines
…costing taxpayers about €180 per person per day.

MORE THAN 8,000 people were jailed last year for non-payment of fines.

The majority of these people spent less than a day in prison.

It costs about €65,542* to keep a person in prison for a year, working out at €179.57 per day.

Some 8,140 people were imprisoned for non-payment of fines last year, up from 7,365 in 2013.

The number of people sent to jail for this reason has increased dramatically in recent years, standing at 1,234 in 2007.

Close to 6,000 men were jailed for not paying fines in 2014, compared to just over 2,100 women.

prison fines

The figures were released recently by the Department of Justice in response to a parliamentary question asked by Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service told the introduction of the Fines Act 2014 “will hopefully see a significant reduction in those committed for non-payment of fines and the associated cost in terms of staff resources used to process these people”.

“It should be noted however, that most persons spend less than one day in prison. So, in those terms, the Act will not drastically impact on the prison population,” he added.

*Relates to 2013, the last year for which figures are available.

First published 6am


Related: Single mother from Donegal jailed for not paying her TV licence

Read: There are 844 people under the age of 25 in Irish prisons