Revealed: Longford, county with most people incarcerated in 2021, new figures reveal

Longford was the county in Ireland with the highest number of people sent to prison per capita in the past year, with Donegal the lowest, new data has revealed.

Figures based on the home addresses of people sentenced to prison terms by courts in 2021 show a conscription rate of 16.1 per 10,000 for people living in Longford.

This represents an incarceration rate almost double the national average, with more than nine in every 10,000 people living here being sentenced to prison last year.

Other counties with above-average rates in 2021 were Limerick (14.6 per 10,000 population) and Dublin (12.9).

Donegal recorded the lowest rate at just 3.4 per 10,000.

Figures released by the Irish Prison Service also show that the number of people being held in 2021 has reached its lowest level in 15 years.

They show that total admissions to the country’s 12 prisons fell by 1.6 percent over the past year.

A total of 5,179 convicted criminals were jailed in 2021 — a decrease of 84 cases from 2020 and a decrease from a peak of nearly 14,200 in 2015.

It is the lowest annual figure for commitments since 2007.

The IPS figures also show that 70 percent of people jailed last year were sentenced to 12 months or less.

Individuals incarcerated for theft offenses represented the largest proportion of those incarcerated in 2021, accounting for 16 percent of all new inmates.

However, nearly three-quarters of inmates jailed for theft received prison sentences of 12 months or less.

In 2021, a total of 189 people were jailed after being convicted of sex offenses, with 28 percent of them receiving sentences of more than five years.

Fourteen sex offenders – 7 percent of those prisoners – were imprisoned for 10 years or more.

IPS figures show that last year 38 people were jailed for homicide, half of whom received life sentences for murder. A total of 30 inmates convicted of assault, attempted murder and threats over the past year have been sentenced to over five years in prison

Official figures show that 4,070 prisoners were Irish nationals, accounting for nearly 79 per cent of reassignments in 2021, with nationals of other EU member states and the UK accounting for a further 15 per cent.

A total of 339 homeless people classified as ‘homeless’ were jailed last year, while 59 people who normally live outside Ireland were sent to prison.

For the first time since 2008, fewer than one in 10 people jailed last year were women. A total of 378 women were incarcerated in 2021, accounting for 9.5 percent of prisoners.

In contrast, more than one in five of all prisoners detained in 2015 were women, although almost 3,000 women were detained.

The figures also show that women are more likely to receive shorter sentences, with 85 percent of women prisoners last year being sentenced to 12 months or less, compared to 69 percent of men. Revealed: Longford, county with most people incarcerated in 2021, new figures reveal

Fry Electronics Team

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