Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (556)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

568 Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons imprisoned for fine default during 2011; the number of persons imprisoned for fine default during the first six months of 2012. [34859/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

A breakdown of the number of prisoners imprisoned for non-payment of fines for the year 2011 and the first six months of 2012 is set out in the following table.

Year

Committals for non-payment of fines

2012 (inclusive of 30th June)

4,470

2011

7,514

*The 2011 figures are provisional pending the publication of the Irish Prison Service Annual Report.

I can advise the Deputy that the number of such persons held in custody at any one time is a tiny fraction of the overall prisoner population. To illustrate this point, on 30th June, 2012 there were 22 prisoners or 0.5 per cent of the prisoners in prison custody who fell into this category.