Prison service reveals jump in cost of prisoners

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

prison ireland portlaoise

Prison costs rise due to staff costs

The cost of jailing a prisoner in Portlaoise and other Irish prisons rose to nearly €74,000 last year due to staff costs according to Irish Prison Service.

The Irish Prison Service 2018 annual report reveals that the cost is up more than €4,000 on the 2017 figure. 

The average annual cost of an available, staffed prison space during the calendar year 2018 was €73,802, a 7% increase on the 2017 cost of €68,535. It costs €202 per day to accommodate a prisoner. 

Prisoner numbers went up in 2018 but the annual report says staffing is the reason.

"The reason for cost increase per available staffed prison space are mainly due to increased staffing cost of almost €16 million," says the annual report.

The annual cost between 2014 and 2017 hovered between just over €68,500 and a little more than €69,400. 

The report says the annual operating budget for 2018 was €352.69 million of which salaries, wages and allowances account for
€251.28 million or 71.2% of gross expenditure.

The capital envelope for 2018 was €24.33 million.

At end 2018 there were 3,270.15 (wte) staff in the Irish Prison Service.