Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Department of An Taoiseach
82. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons who received custodial sentences for the non-payment of fines broken down by period of sentence, for example, less than one week, more than one week and less than one month, one to three months and other, for each of the years 2013, 2014 and 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7504/17]
I wish to inform the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service has provided the following information:
|Warrant Overall Length Grp||Year 2013||Year 2014||Year 2015|
|Less than 1 week||3,568||3,856||4,230|
|1 week to less than a month||3,959||4,570||5,211|
|1 month to less than 3 months||413||395||306|
|3 months to less than 6 months||180||157||134|
|6 months to less than 12 months||1||1||1|
|12 months to less than 24 months||0||0||1|
The Deputy will be aware that with effect from 11 January, 2016 the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 was commenced with the new system for the payment and recovery of fines being implemented on that date. Under this Act the law has been radically reformed in relation to the payment and recovery of fines. The Act provides an appropriate response to the problems of the refusal or failure of some people to pay fines and the inappropriateness of imprisonment as the automatic response where this happens. The system that is now in place is logical and proportionate and provides an option for persons to pay fines by instalment along with other changes in the way those who fail to pay fines are dealt with.
83. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons who received a custodial sentence for possession of a proscribed substance that was clearly intended for their own personal use, broken down by period of sentence, for example, up to one month, one to three months, three to six months, six to 12 months and greater than one year, for each of the years 2013, 2014 and 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7505/17]
As the Deputy may be aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provision of information on the courts system.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had inquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that court statistics do not define or categorise cases in relation to possession of a proscribed substance intended for personal use and therefore the Courts Service is not able to provide the information requested by the Deputy.