#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 12°C Monday 19 October 2020

In numbers: the state of Ireland’s prisons in 2011

The cost of detaining a prisoner in Irish jails fell last year – but to what?

0 - The number of people who are currently serving jail terms at Kilmainham Gaol, pictured.
0 - The number of people who are currently serving jail terms at Kilmainham Gaol, pictured.
Image: Corey Leopold via Flickr

THE POPULATION of Ireland’s prisons fell last year, despite an increase in the number of people being jailed, according to new figures published today.

The Irish Prison Service’s annual report for 2011 shows that the average number of people in prisons in Ireland last year was down by 2.8 per cent – despite a 1.4 per cent increase in the numbers being sent to jail.

Here’s a numerical snapshot of some of the stats in the report.

4,313 – The number of people detained in Irish prisons on an average day, November 30, in 2011. That’s down by 1.4 per cent on the 2010 figure of 4,440.

17,318 - The total number of times that people were jailed in 2011. That’s up by 0.8 per cent.

13,952 – The actual number of people jailed. The figures suggest that a significant proportion of people jailed in Ireland last year were repeat offenders who had already served prison time that year.

12,990 – The number of people committed under sentence. The difference indicates that just under 1,000 people were jailed for indefinite terms for offences such as contempt of court.

8,070 – The number of people who were given jail terms of three months or less last year. That’s up by almost 10 per cent, from 7,356.

43 - The number of people who, on November 30, were serving jail terms of under three months.

20 – The number of people on that date who were in jail for non-payment of fines.

€65,359 – The cost of detaining a prisoner for a year – or, officially, the “average cost of an available, staff prison space during the calendar year 2011″. That’s down from €70,513 in 2010, largely as a result of increased capacity and spending cuts.

86.4 per cent – Men accounted for over 6 out of every 7 people committed to jails last year.

10.4 per cent – Non-Irish citizens made up just over a tenth of the prison population on November 30 last year, the ‘snapshot date’ of the report.

423 – The number of people jailed in 2011 for immigration offences.

291 – The number of people serving life sentences in Irish jails last year. That’s 7.9 per cent of the entire prison population.

290 – The number of people serving sentences of over 10 years.

650 – The number of extra prison spaces which justice minister Alan Shatter hopes to have available by the time the current government’s mandate ends in 2016. He’s looking to build another 250-space prison in Cork and restore 100 beds in Limerick, while 300 spaces will open in Midlands Prison by the end of this year.

Read: OPW launches tender process for new child detention facility

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel