Untitled


Juvenile justice centres are not prison service establishments and statistics on ..... Average Northern Ireland prison population under sentence of immediate ...

Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

Introduction 6.1 This chapter provides information on the size and composition of the prison population in establishments operated by the Northern Ireland Prison Service. The data presented consist of ◆ The average prison population held during each year ◆ All receptions into prison establishments during the year Offenders given an immediate custodial sentence by the court may be specifically directed to a juvenile justice centre (if under 17), a young offenders’ centre (if under 21 and receiving a sentence of up to 4 years) or may be given a more general order of imprisonment or detention. Juvenile justice centres are not prison service establishments and statistics on persons detained there are not included in this chapter. Types of prisoner 6.2 In 2001 there were three prison establishments in Northern Ireland receiving prisoners - these were HMP Magilligan, HMP Maghaberry and HM Young Offenders Centre Hydebank Wood. Female prisoners were held in a separate unit within the HMP Maghaberry establishment. 6.3 The prison population consists mainly of offenders sentenced by the courts to immediate custody for criminal offences. It also includes fine defaulters, remand prisoners and a small number of non-criminal prisoners. 6.4 Fine defaulters are those who have been given a fine by the courts (strictly a fine or custodial sentence), have not paid the fine within a stipulated time, and have then been the subject of a warrant issued by the court. The duration of sentence is dependent upon the amount of the unpaid fine.This ranges in magistrates' courts from one week where the default is £200 or less, to one year, where it is over £10,000. In the Crown Court the duration of sentence may be up to ten years where the default is £1 million or more. Fine defaulters aged under seventeen years of age are detained in a juvenile justice centre, and are not included in this chapter. 6.5 Remand prisoners include those charged with an offence and whom the courts have ruled should be detained in custody pending trial; those whom the courts have permitted to be released on bail pending trial but have not as yet met the conditions (usually financial) of the bail; those who had been released on bail but have subsequently been re-admitted to prison because they breached a condition of bail; and those who have been found guilty by the court but have been ordered to be detained in custody pending sentence. Persons aged under seventeen years on remand will normally be detained in a juvenile justice centre, and are excluded from this chapter. 6.6 Non-criminal prisoners include those who have been imprisoned for non-payment of maintenance, non-payment of a debt, contempt of court, or are being held under the terms of an Immigration Act.

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Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

Counting rules 6.7 The prison population fluctuates throughout the year and within each week.This is a consequence of factors such as the pattern of court sitting and discharge rules relating to weekends.To remove within-week variation and provide a more consistent approach, prison population statistics are based on counts taken on the last Thursday night of each month. Annual averages are derived from twelve such monthly counts. Annual prison receptions are calculated simply as the sum total of admissions into prisons during the year. 6.8 In general the counting rules in operation closely follow those used by the Home office. Important features of these are: ◆ a person received more than once in a year will be counted separately on each occasion, including each occasion of change of status between remand and sentenced/fine defaulter; ◆ where a person is received under sentence for two or more offences, only the principal criminal offence is recorded; ◆ where a person is received under sentence for two or more offences, sentence length is taken as the longest of any concurrent sentences, with consecutive sentences being treated as one sentence equal in length to the sentences added together; and ◆ the age of a prisoner is calculated as age at reception. Average prison population 6.9 In the last five years (1997-2001) the average prison population has fallen by 44% from an average of 1,632 in 1997 to an average of 910 in 2001 (Figure 6.1).The 15% decrease that occurred between 2000 and 2001 was the eighth consecutive decrease in the annual average population since 1993 (Table 6.1). Average prison population by prisoner type Remand Prisoners 6.10 The average remand population has fluctuated quite substantially over the last decade from a high of 439 in 1994 to a low of 266 in 2001. The 2001 figure is 14% lower than the 2000 level (311) and is the lowest recorded in the last decade (Table 6.1). Fine Defaulters 6.11 The average fine defaulter population in 2001 was 22, remaining at the same level as the previous year. This was the lowest level recorded in the last decade.

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Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

Figure 6.1: Average prison population 1969-2001

Immediate Custody 6.12 The average immediate custody population in 2001 was 616, 16% lower than in 2000 (729) and was the eighth consecutive annual decrease since 1993 (Table 6.1). The 2001 figure was the lowest recorded in the last decade. The immediate custody population has more than halved since 1993, when the average total was 1,475. 6.13 This continuing decrease in the average immediate custody population can be partially explained by the number of prisoners discharged under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998. 6.14 Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act was introduced in July 1998. Prisoners convicted of scheduled offences and attracting a sentence of five years or more became eligible to apply for early release from the Independent Sentence Review Commission. A total of 447 prisoners have been released up until the end of 2001 under the Act, 12 of whom were released during 2001. Non-criminal Prisoners 6.15 The average number of non-criminal prisoners - mainly immigrant detainees - has varied over recent years.The 2001 figure (6) is equal to that in 1999 and 2000 and is lower than the 1998 figure (10) (Table 6.1). Average prison population by gender 6.16 Table 6.1 shows that most prisoners are male, accounting for 98% of the average total prison population in each of the last ten years (1992-2001). This gender distribution is relatively constant irrespective of prisoner type; males accounted for 97-99% of all remand Page 76

Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

and immediate custody prisoners during 1992-2001 (Table 6.1). In the same period the proportion of the average male prison population, imprisoned for fine default, ranged from 90% to 100%. On average in the last ten years nearly all non-criminal prisoners were male there has been a very small number of female non-criminal receptions (Table 6.7). Average immediate custody prison population by age 6.17 The age profile of the average immediate custody population in prison is markedly different from the overall Northern Ireland population. In 2001, 52% of the average immediate custody population in prison were between the ages of 17 and 29, with 40% being between the ages of 21 and 29 at reception (Figure 6.2).The equivalent proportions for the Northern Ireland population as a whole are 18% (17-29) and 12% (21-29) - based on the 2001 Census. There has been a general downward trend in the average number of immediate custody prisoners aged under 21 at reception since 1993. However, the proportion of under 21’s within the immediate custody population has fluctuated over the decade with a high of 19% in 1992 and a low of 12% in 2001. Figure 6.2: Average prison population under sentence of immediate custody by age at reception 2001

Total average 616

Average immediate custody prison population by offence 6.18 The average immediate custody prison population fell by 55% between 1992 (1,362) and 2001 (616) - (Table 6.6).There have been eight consecutive annual decreases in the total average immediate custody population - down from an average of 1,475 in 1993 to 616 in 2001 - a 58% decrease between 1993 and 2001. This downward trend is evident in recent years in all offence categories except drug offences and ‘other offences’. The drug offences average population has risen from 58 in 1999 to 62 in 2001; the ‘other offences’ category has risen from an average of 31 in 1999 to 36 in 2000 and 2001.

6.19 The overall decrease in the average immediate custody population masks proportionate variations within offence categories. For example the ‘violence against the person’ category (VAP), which accounted for 53% of the immediate custody population in Page 77

Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

1992, decreased to 36% in 2001. Over the same period, sexual offenders increased from 9% to 16% while persons held for motoring and ‘other offences’ both increased from 3% and 4% respectively to 4% and 6% respectively. Drug offenders increased from 0.4% in 1992 to 10% in 2001. (Table 6.6 and Figure 6.3). Figure 6.3: Average prison population under sentence of immediate custody by offence 1992-2001

Average immediate custody prison population by sentence length 6.20 The following is an analysis of the immediate custody population made up of the three groups - life sentence prisoners, determinate sentences more than five years, and determinate sentences of five years or less. A determinate sentence is a sentence where a specific period of imprisonment, e.g. 6 months, 10 years is given to the person convicted.This excludes a life sentence or a person being detained at the Secretary of State’s pleasure. 6.21 Apart from a slight increase in 1995 the average ‘lifer’ population has fallen consistently during the last decade, from 308 in 1992 to 88 in 2001, a fall of 71%. This decrease was greatly influenced in the late 1990’s by the impact of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (see paragraph 6.14). The average number of prisoners serving determinate sentences greater than five years increased to a high of 603 in 1994 and then decreased by 74% to a low of 155 in 2001. The rate of decrease in the annual population of those sentenced to five years or less is not as pronounced falling by 41% from a high of 629 in 1993 to an average of 374 in 2001 (Table 6.3).

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Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

Figure 6.4: Average prison population under sentence of immediate custody by sentence length 2001

Total average 616

6.22 An analysis of the proportion of the immediate custody population by sentence length shows an interesting trend. Life sentence prisoners have decreased from 23% of the immediate custody population in 1992 to 18% in 1995 and 14% in 2001. The proportion of those sentenced to a determinate sentence of more than five years has declined from 36% of the population in 1992 to 25% in 2001 whilst those sentenced to less than five years increased to 61% of the immediate custody population in 2001 compared to 40% in 1995 and 41% in 1992 (Table 6.3 and Figure 6.4). Receptions into prison 6.23 The total number of receptions into prison fell during 2001 for the second consecutive year. A total of 4,416 prisoners were received during 2001, 15% lower than in 2000 (5,186). The 2001 figure is the lowest number of receptions recorded annually in the 1992-2001 period. Prison receptions by prisoner type Remand Prisoners 6.24 The number of remand receptions have fluctuated quite substantially over the last decade. Over the last six years the number of remand receptions have decreased by 16%, from 2,292 in 1996 to 1,922 in 2001. The 2001 figure is 13% lower than in 2000 (2,197) but is similar to that in 1992 (1,987). Fine Defaulters 6.25 Fine defaulters represent a small part of the overall annual prison population due to the short duration of their sentences. The number of fine default receptions, however, is substantial and accounts for approximately one third of all receptions (Table 6.7). The 2001 figure (1,393) is 16% lower than that for 2000 (1,650) and is the lowest number of fine default receptions in the last decade.

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Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

Immediate Custody 6.26 In recent years (1999-2001) the trend for immediate custody receptions has been downward. The number of prisoners received under sentence of immediate custody in 2001 (1,043) is 19% lower than in 2000 (1,283) and 21% lower than 1992 (1,312). Figure 6.5: Prison receptions by prisoner type 1992 - 2001

Non-Criminal Prisoners 6.27 Only a small number of non-criminal prisoners relative to the overall number of receptions are received into prison each year (Table 6.7).The 2001 figure (58) is similar to the number received in 2000 (56) but the number has fluctuated over the last decade with a low of 10 in 1992 and a high of 70 in 1998. Prison receptions by gender 6.28 Females accounted for 4% of all receptions into prison during 2001. The absolute number of female receptions, although small, has been increasing in recent years but fell in 2001. The 2001 figure (196) fell by 22% compared with 2000 (252) but is similar to that of 1994 (198) (Table 6.7). Proportionately, females are more likely to be received for fine defaults than males (41% of all female receptions compared to 31% of males in 2001). Males (24%) are more likely to be received under sentence of immediate custody than females (14%) whilst the proportion of males (44%) and females (43%) received as remand prisoners is similar. Non-criminal receptions tend to be almost exclusively male - 55 receptions in 2001 compared to 3 female receptions.

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Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

Immediate custody prison receptions by age 6.29 During the late 1990’s (1995-1999) the number of immediate custody prisoners aged under 21 years received into prison consistently formed approximately one quarter of all immediate custody receptions (Table 6.10). This dipped to 22% of those received in 2000 before returning to 25% of all receptions in 2001. Immediate custody prison receptions by offence 6.30 Overall, the number of immediate custody receptions has fallen by 19% between 2000 (1,283) and 2001 (1,043) (Table 6.12). Receptions for offences of violence against the person, burglary, robbery, theft, fraud and forgery, criminal damage, drug offences, motoring offences and ‘other offences’ all decreased in 2001 compared with 2000. Sexual offence receptions remained constant with 65 in 2000 and 66 in 2001. Figure 6.6: Immediate custody receptions by offence 2001

Total 1,043

6.31 Closer analysis reveals that immediate custody receptions for violence against the person fluctuated substantially over the five year period 1997-2001 - decreasing to 290 in 1997, increasing to a high of 327 in 1998 and then two consecutive decreases to 174 in 2001. Receptions for sexual offences and drug offences decreased consistently between 1997 and 1999 but increased in 2000. Sexual offences remained similar in 2001 (66) compared to 2000 (65) but drug offences receptions fell from 111 to 80. The 2001 robbery figure (109) fell slightly compared to the 2000 figure (115) but is similar to the 1997 figure (106). Burglary and theft decreased between 1997 and 1998, increased during 1999 and returned to 1998 levels during 2000 before both decreasing in 2001. Although fluctuating slightly over the five year period, receptions for fraud and forgery and criminal damage remain lower than 1997 levels. Motoring offences which have been increasing from 1998 and ‘other offences’ which have been increasing from 1997 both fell in 2001 compared to 2000. Immediate custody prison receptions by sentence length 6.32 Life sentence prisoners form a small number of those received into prison each year (Figure 6.7 and Table 6.9). In 1995 there were 26 receptions, the highest number in the last Page 81

Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

decade, falling to 12 and 7 receptions in 1996 and 1997 respectively and increasing to 23 in 1998. However in 1999, 2000 and 2001, the number of receptions was similar to early 1990 levels - 17, 19 and 15 life sentence prison receptions respectively. It should be borne in mind that the majority of life sentence receptions in the early 1990’s would have been terrorist related compared to a very small proportion in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Figure 6.7: Immediate custody receptions by sentence length 2001

Total 1,043

6.33 The numbers of those sentenced to five years or more but less than life increased in 2001 compared to 2000 (from 57 to 62). This was the first increase in this sentence length category since 1997. The trend of those sentenced to terms of imprisonment greater than one year but less than or equal to five years continues to fluctuate. The 2001 figure (318) is less than the 2000 (428) and is the lowest number of receptions in the last decade. For those sentenced to determinate sentences of one year and less the number of receptions fell for the second consecutive year - down from 860 in 1999 to 648 in 2001 (Table 6.9). Comparing prison receptions and the prison population 6.34 Most prisoners sentenced to immediate custody are received into prison with sentences of one year and under - 62% of receptions in 2001 (Figure 6.7). However, because these prisoners remain in prison for a relatively short period (when the effect of remission is taken into account) the average daily prison population is made up primarily of longer sentence prisoners (Figure 6.4). For example, on average in 2001, only 19% of those in prison who had been sentenced to immediate custody, had sentences of one year and under compared to 62% of receptions, 25% had determinate sentences of over five years compared to 6% of receptions, and 14% were serving life sentences (including those detained at the Secretary of State's pleasure) compared to 1% of receptions (Tables 6.3 and 6.9). International comparisons 6.35 The Home Office Research Findings No.166 “World Prison Population List (third edition)” published in 2002 shows that on 27 August 2001 Northern Ireland had 50 prisoners for every 100,000 people in the population. Figure 8 shows that on similar dates in England & Wales and Scotland the equivalent figures were 125 and 120 respectively.The rate in the Page 82

Prison Population and Receptions ◆ Chapter 6

Republic of Ireland was 80 (13 December 2000). Among European Union countries, the rate for England & Wales (125) is third highest after Hungary (155) and Portugal (130). Other European countries with similar rates to Northern Ireland are Finland (50) and Norway (60) (both on 1 September 2000) as well as Sweden (65) and Denmark (60) (both on 30 September 2000). The USA (700 on 31 December 2000) has the highest rate in the world, followed by Russia (665 on 1 April 2001) and the Cayman Islands (600 on 24 April 2001). Figure 6.8: Prisoners per 100,000 population for selected European jurisdictions

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TABLE 6.1:

Average Northern Ireland prison population, by gender, prisoner type and age group 1992-2001

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

93 307 400

96 322 418

106 321 427

72 240 312

69 249 318

70 288 358

71 291 362

75 286 361

69 232 301

62 198 260

6 27 33

7 23 30

4 23 27

5 23 28

5 19 24

6 23 29

7 22 29

8 23 31

5 15 20

4 17 21

145 102 1088 1335

153 100 1192 1445

133 91 1179 1403

118 87 1177 1382

115 66 1076 1257

104 57 1044 1205

114 44 921 1079

103 27 695 825

78 22 618 718

58 17 533 608

1

1

1

5

11

10

10

6

6

5

1769

1894

1858

1727

1610

1602

1480

1223

1045

894

6 7 13

2 6 8

5 7 12

2 3 5

2 6 8

3 5 8

4 7 11

4 5 10

2 8 10

1 5 6

0 1 1

1 1 2

1 2 3

0 1 1

0 0 0

0 1 1

0 1 1

0 2 2

0 2 2

0 1 1

4 2 21 27

3 3 24 30

4 3 19 26

6 2 21 29

4 1 16 21

3 0 18 21

1 0 14 15

1 0 8 9

1 0 10 11

1 0 7 8

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

41

40

41

35

29

30

27

21

23

16

413 34 1362

426 32 1475

439 30 1429

317 29 1411

326 24 1278

366 30 1226

373 30 1094

371 33 834

311 22 729

266 22 616

1

1

1

5

11

10

10

6

6

6

1810

1934

1899

1762

1639

1632

1507

1244

1068

910

Male Prisoners Remand Aged under 21 Aged 2l or over Fine defaulter Aged under 21 Aged 21 or over Immediate Custody YOC Young Prisoners Adult Prisoners

Non-Criminal All Males Female Prisoners Remand Aged under 21 Aged 21 or over Fine defaulter Aged under 21 Aged 21 or over Immediate Custody YOC Young Prisoners Adult Prisoners

Non-Criminal All Females All Prisoners Remand Fine Defaulter Immediate Custody Non-Criminal TOTAL

Notes:

(1)

Components may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Page 84

TABLE 6.2:

Average Northern Ireland prison population under sentence of immediate custody, by age, gender and sentence length 1992-2001

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

270 207 220 70 61 67 70 68 41 16

262 252 226 83 73 76 83 79 46 12

225 282 244 88 62 67 86 72 40 12

232 278 241 76 65 72 87 66 50 10

223 264 180 48 56 71 93 82 45 14

209 246 157 45 62 92 102 78 42 10

184 203 139 54 70 90 78 55 37 9

121 110 105 52 53 66 77 60 39 12

99 73 100 47 59 63 72 63 34 9

77 46 102 50 52 50 71 53 24 8

1088

1192

1179

1177

1076

1044

921

695

618

533

35 23 37 7 28 29 31 25 26 5

26 27 41 7 29 23 38 35 24 5

18 29 37 7 23 26 28 36 18 3

17 27 35 7 19 16 23 33 22 5

19 26 18 3 14 19 26 31 20 5

18 25 12 2 14 23 21 23 18 5

15 18 7 4 17 19 23 32 17 5

11 6 5 5 11 15 24 29 18 7

10 5 6 1 5 11 24 23 10 4

10 3 3 1 3 9 16 16 10 3

247 1335

253 1445

224 1403

205 1382

181 1257

161 1205

158 1079

130 825

100 718

75 608

Life(1) >5 years, less than life >1 and 6 and 3 and 5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 and 6 and 3 and 5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 and 6 and 3 and 1 and 6 and 3 and 10 years, less than life >5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 and 6 and 3 and 5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 and 6 and 3 and 1 and 6 and 3 and 1 and 6 and 3 and
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