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Irish prison population decreasing

7,484 people were committed to Irish prisons in 2017, according to the Irish Prison service, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show.

The latest figures from the Irish Prison Service show the number of people committed to Irish prisons has decreased significantly since 2014. In 2014 13,408 people were sent to Irish prison. This figure increased to 14,182 in 2015. 2016 saw marked improvement with a drop down to 12,579. While 2017 saw the level almost halve; down to 7,484.

Of this number, 6,043 were male, with 1,081 females entering prison the same year. Irish men and women make up the bulk of the Irish prison population. In 2017, 882 Irish women and 4,844 Irish men were incarcerated here.

This was followed by 15 Polish females and 253 Polish males. The third highest nationality in Irish prison was amongst Romanians; with 39 females and 203 males.

The bulk of the prison population for both males and females is made of persons between the ages of 21 and 40 years. The highest age demographic in 2017 was males and females between 30 and 40 years, with 2,498 men and 2,109 women in this age group committed to prison last year.

For home address, by county, given by persons committed in 2017, Dublin ranks the highest with 2,490 people. This is followed by Cork with 721 and Limerick on 464.

For people who stated their chosen religion to the Irish Prisons Service, Roman Catholics made up the largest demographic on 716 in 2017. Overall, 191 practicing Muslims were in Irish prisons in the same year, while Christians made up the third largest religious group on 189.

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