Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
Irish Prison Service
Patrick Nulty (Dublin West, Labour)
Question 477: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount it costs the Exchequer on annual basis for a person to remain in prison for a full year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7600/12]
Alan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
The Deputy may wish to note that the average cost of an available staffed prison space is published annually in the Irish Prison Service Annual Report. The most recent figures are contained in the 2010 Annual Report which is available on the Prison Service’s website www.irishprisons.ie
The average cost of an available staffed prison space during the calendar year 2010 was €70,513 (€77,222 in 2009), a decrease on the 2009 cost of €6,709 or 8.7%. The decrease in average cost is attributed to the following two factors:
a decrease in total costs of €20.7 million
an increase in bed capacity of 97 from 4,106 as at 31st December 2009 to an average bed capacity of 4,203 for 2010.
Consistent with calculations in previous years, costs which are not under the direct control of the Irish Prison Service have been excluded. Therefore, the teachers’ salary costs are excluded from this exercise as these costs are not provided for under the Prisons budget allocation. Similarly, capital expenditure, including building/equipment assets and small works, is excluded from the calculations in the interest of facilitating comparison between prison types.