REVEALED: Fewer Kildare people in prison compared to rest of country

Limerick tops league with Leitrim lowest

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

Email:

henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare has relatively low prisoner numbers

Limerick Prison

Kildare has been home to relatively fewer prisoners than other counties in Ireland in recent years, according to a Leinster Leader survey.

Using the Irish Prison Service annual average prison numbers from 2008 to 2014, and county populations in 2011, we estimated that Kildare has averaged 1.8 residents in jail for every 1,000 of population.

The was one of the lowest levels in the State with just Mayo, Roscommon, Meath, Donegal and Leitrim having a lower proportion.

While the average number of prisoners with Kildare addresses was 377,  there was an increase in the county numbers between 2008 and 2014 when they grew 69% from 248 to 420.

In 2011, the county provided 412 prisoners out of its 210,312 population or 2 per 1000 people.

The numbers peaked at 489 in 2012.

The differences in rates of prisoners may be explained by the age profile of the county and other factors, largely because the prison population has tended to be comprise a certain age category of younger people.

For the 26 counties, as a whole, there were 2.6 people per 1,000 population in jail, with 12,706 locked up in 2014, a 34% rise on 9,459 in 2008.

We used the average prison population from each county over the seven years and divided that by the 2011 population.

Limerick topped the league with 4.7 per 1000, followed by Longford (3.5), Dublin (3.3) and Cork (3.2). Louth and Waterford were next with 2.8.

Tipperary was 2.6 and Laois, 2.2. Carlow and Kilkenny were 2.1 and 1.8 respectively.

The largest % increase in the seven years was in Wicklow (2.4), which saw a 145% rise. Dublin saw an 8% drop from an average of 3,888 in 2008 compared with 3,560 in 2014.

Leitrim had the lowest relative prison population, with eleven prisoners in 2014, representing 1.1% of the population.

In 2014, the 26 counties housed 12,706 prisoners with addresses in the Irish state. Another 657  were either of no fixed address 9265); their address was not stated (257) or they were from outside the country (135).

In addition 46 had Northern Ireland addresses

According to the annual report of the Irish Prison Service 2016, over a quarter (26.7%) of all persons committed declared Dublin as their county of residence.

Cork with 12.6%, Limerick with 8.1% and Galway with 5.3% were the next largest counties of residence indicated.

Of the 12,579 persons committed, 82.4%, which is a decrease of 13.5% on the  2015 figure.

Other EU nationals (excluding Irish) accounted for 1,233 (9.8%) of people committed.

Other European nationals accounted for 141 (1.1%), African nationals for 314 (2.5%), Asian nationals for 159 (1.3%) and Central/South American nationals accounted for 75 (0.6%).