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05 Jul 2022

Majority of young Irish prisoners likely to re-offend within 3 years of release - CSO

Majority of young Irish prisoners likely to re-offend within 3 years of release - CSO

The majority of young Irish prisoners are likely to re-offend within three years of release from prison, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has found. 

The 'Prison Re-offending 2019' report published today (Tuesday June 21) uses data from the Irish Prisons Service and An Garda Síochána's PULSE reporting system to determine re-offending patterns across demographics. 

The report has revealed 82% of prisoners under the age of 21 at the time of their sentencing re-offended within three years. 

Statistician at the Crime and Criminal Justice Division, Felix Coleman said, "The data [sic] indicates that younger age groups of individuals released from custodial sentences are much more likely to re-offend, with more than four-fifths (82%) of individuals aged less than 21 at the time of sentencing re-offending within three years of release.

"In contrast, just under 30% of prisoners who were over 50 years old re-offended within three years of release." 

The significant re-offending rates among young adults is contrary to a dip in the number of re-offending rates overall. 

Mr Coleman continued, "Re-offending rates have fallen over time whether one looks at three year or one year windows for re-offending following release from custody. Just less than 45% of individuals released in 2019 re-offended within one year of release, compared to just over 54% of individuals released in 2011 who re-offended within one year of release.

"The one year estimate of custodial re-offending for 2019 also shows a drop of three percentage points when compared with the same measure for re-offending for 2018 (just under 48%)."

The report also noted a difference in re-offending rates between males and females depending on type of sentence received in court (custodial or fine). 

Mr Coleman said, "Although most individuals released from custodial sentences in 2016 were male (92%), more females re-offended within three years (70%) than males (62%).

"In contrast, when looking at 2019 one-year fine sentence re-offending rates, males (47%) were more likely to re-offend than females (42%)." 

Over 80% of individuals released from custodial sentences in 2016 relating to Public Order offences (threatening or insulting behaviour, trespassing and failure to comply with directions from An Garda Síochána) re-offended within three years of release. 

People released from custody in relation to Damage to Property and the Environment and Burglary were the next most likely to re-offend within the time frame (79% and 77% respectively). 

Individuals released from custody in relation to Sexual Offences (23%) were the least likely to re-offend. 

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