27/09/2018

NI's Daily Prison Population Fell By 2.2%

Northern Ireland's average daily prison population fell by 2.2% during 2017/18 to 1,439, according to the latest Prison Population report published by the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The report looks at the average daily prison population and the number of receptions into Northern Ireland Prisons for the financial year 2017/18.

The key findings were as follows:

The number of males in the prison population fell by 2.5% to 1,382 while the female population increased from 54 to 57.

Since reporting by financial year began (2014/15), the remand population has fallen, however it has done so at a decreasing yearly rate; -6.2% in 2015/16, -4.8% in 2016/17 and -1.6% in 2017/18).

During 2017/18 the average daily immediate custody prison population fell by 2.3% to 1,060, the lowest decrease since 2014/15.
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Prisoners aged between 21 to 29 years of age continue to make up the largest proportion of the average daily immediate custody prison population (32.9%), however the proportion this represents has been falling (37.6% during 2014/15).

The proportion of those aged between 30 and 39 years of age has been increasing, 26.2% during 2014/15 to 31.5% during 2017/18.

In terms of custodial sentence length, the number serving greater than three months and less than or equal to 12 months increased from a daily average of 264 during 2016/17 to 286 during 2017/18.

Violence against the person offences continue to account for the largest proportion of all principal offence categories (34.7%).

The decrease in the average daily immediate custody prison population from 2016/17 to 2017/18 was not evident across all offence categories, the following saw their numbers increase: misc. sexual, robbery, theft, motoring offences and fraud.

The full report is available online via the Department of Justice website.

(MH/CM)

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