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05 Jul 2022

Big number of criminals let out of Portlaoise and other jails break the law again soon after

New study from the Central Statistics Office

portlaoise prison

Midlands Prison Portlaoise secur unit

Just under half of people released from jails in Portlaoise and elsewhwere in 2018 re-offended within one year according to the latest official figures. 

That's the headline finding from Central Statistics Offices in its new Prison Re-offending 2011-2018 study.

Looking at re-offending rates within one year of a custodial sentence the CSO highlights the following:

  • Some 48% of individuals released in 2018 re-offended within one year of release, down from 54% in 2011
  • Individuals that served custodial sentences between three and six months prior to release in 2018 had the highest probability of re-offending within one year of release (61%)
  • Two-thirds (66%) of individuals released from custodial sentences in 2018 received a further custodial sanction for their re-offence
  • Individuals released in 2018 were most likely to re-offend by committing public order and other social code offences (26%)

Looking at re-offending rates within three years of a custodial sentence shows:

  • Almost 62% of individuals released from custodial sentence in 2015 re-offended with three years, down from 68% in 2011
  • Younger age groups continue to have higher custodial re-offending rates, with more than 80% of individuals aged under 21 re-offending within three years of being released
  • Individuals released in 2015 from sentences related to burglary had the highest likelihood of re-offending (79%) within three years, in comparison to 20% of individuals released from custodial sentences for sexual offences who re-offended within three years of release
  • Males (93%) continued to make up most custodial releases in 2015, however females had a slightly higher likelihood of re-offending within three years of release (66%) than males (61%)

The CSO thanked both the Irish Prisons Service and An Garda Síochána for their help in compiling statistics on Prison Re-offending. MORE BELOW LINK

MORE DETAILS BELOW GRAPHIC 

It says the methodology for re-offending calculation has consistently excluded PULSE incidents that were classified as road or traffic-related as the vast majority of these incidents would be dealt with via the Fixed Charge Notice system.

However, it saus a very small number of these road traffic incidents would result in more serious related offences being grouped with these incidents. Accordingly, the CSO adds that it is important that persons who re-offend in this fashion are counted in the re-offending estimates. For the reference year 2015, it results in an extra 103 (4%) or so persons being counted as re-offenders.

Felix Coleman, Statistician, commented on the figures.

“Prison re-offending estimates are calculated using data provided by the Irish Prisons Service and An Garda Síochána's PULSE reporting system. The methodological adjustment in this publication and the inclusion of all Road and Traffic related incidents introduces greater coverage in the analysis of prisoner re-offending. Further details of the methodological updates can be found in a Technical Note. This publication also introduces two additional characteristics of the re-offending population:

"An indicator of the level of significance of re-offending behaviour with statistics that show whether a re-offence received a custodial or non-custodial sanction. Estimates showing how long re-offenders spent in custody prior to release and re-offence,” he said.

Mr Coleman, further commented that theft is the big reoffending crime while younger people were more likely to get in trouble again.

“In 2015, 62% of individuals released from custody were linked to a re-offending incident within three years of their release with the most frequent re-offending offence type (21% of all re-offences) relating to theft and related offences. The data also indicates that younger age groups of released individuals continue to be more likely to re-offend, with more than 83% of released individuals aged less than 21 at the time of leaving prison re-offending within three years of release. In contrast, just 27% of individuals who were over 50 years old re-offended within three years of release.

"There is a small difference in re-offending rates between males and females. Although the clear majority of released individuals in 2015 were male (93%), slightly more females re-offended within three years (66%) than males (61%).

"Of the two-thirds of re-offenders from 2018 who received a custodial sanction for their re-offence, those whose offences were grouped among assault, attempts and threats to murder, harassment and related offences were the most likely to receive a custodial sanction (80%) rather than a non-custodial sanction such as a fine or suspended sentence. Also, in relation to one year re-offending, individuals were most likely to re-offend by committing offences related to public order and other social code offences (26%). Of these, 54% received a custodial sanction for their re-offence.

"It is worth noting that re-offending rates are falling over time whether one looks at three year or one year windows for re-offending following release from custody. A little more than 47% of individuals released in 2018 re-offended within one year of release, compared to 54% of individuals released in 2011 who re-offended within one year of release.”

Go to release: Prison Re-offending Statistics 2011 - 2018

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