Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, TD has welcomed the latest publication today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of a statistical release on Prison Re-Offending Statistics from 2019. The release provides information on the level of recorded re-offending by individuals released from custodial or Fine Sentence sanctions within the Irish Prison Service.
The report provides information on prisoner re-offending estimates which are calculated using data provided by the Irish Prisons Service and An Garda Síochána's PULSE reporting system.
In addition to updates of three-year and one-year re-offending rates and tables on individuals released from custody 2011-2016, this new publication also presents statistics displaying the geographical breakdown of prison re-offending in Ireland.
The report indicates that individuals released in 2019 from custodial sentences lasting between three and six months (58%) had the highest likelihood of re-offending within a year.
Speaking about the results of the report, Minister McEntee said
“I welcome the fact that the prison reoffending rates appear to have fallen from 48% in 2018 to 45% in 2019.
What is concerning is that the rate of those reoffending within a year of release remain highest for those sentenced to between 3 and 6 months imprisonment. Officials in my Department are currently finalising a review of policy options for prison and penal reform.”
The CSO publication indicates that men made up the majority of prison releases in 2016 at 92%. The statistics show that women were more likely to re-offend with 70% of women reoffending within 3 years of release compared to 62% of men. Referring to this particular statistic, Minister McEntee indicated that
“We know that most women who offend pose a low risk to society but present with a high level of need.
The joint IPS/Probation Service Strategy “An Effective Response to Women Who Offend” provided the starting point for focused interventions for female offenders.
The new penal policy review recognises the particular needs of women who offend and will look at how best to address them.”
The report from the CSO outlines that those released from custodial sentences in 2019 that related to Burglary or Public Order offences are most likely to re-offend within a year of release. The Department of Justice is working with An Garda Síochána to tackle this specific issue.
Operation Thor, introduced in 2015 by the Gardaí to deter criminal activity related to burglary, has proved highly successful in tackling property related crime since its inception in November 2015. In 2015, there were in excess of 18,800 residential burglaries reported. By contrast, to the end of 2021 there were just over 6,000 residential burglaries reported, a reduction of over 66% or approximately 13,000 less residential burglaries.