Belfast Telegraph

Statistical bulletin: The Northern Ireland Average Prison Population 2012

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Justice

The Department of Justice (DOJ) today published Research and Statistical Bulletin 6/2013 ‘The Northern Ireland Average Prison Population in 2012’. This is a National Statistics Publication.

Key findings

· In 2010, the overall annual average prison population dropped slightly (to an average of 1,465) from the 2009 average figure (1,470). However, it then rose to an average of 1,682 in 2011 (an annual increase of 15%) followed by a further rise to 1,774 in 2012 (an annual increase of 5% on 2011).

· The overall prison population was predominantly male (97% in 2012) (Table 1).

· In 2012, 52% of the immediate custody prison population were between the ages of 17 and 29 at reception (Table 4).

· In 2012, 62% of the immediate custody prisoner population were serving sentences for violent offences (violence against the person, sexual offences or robbery) (Figure 3c).

· Life sentence prisoners made up 17% of the average immediate custody population in 2012 (Figure 4c).

Notes to editors:

1. The statistics have been derived from the Northern Ireland PRISM prisoner database and analysis performed by the Statistics and Research Branch of the Department of Justice. This database is continuously updated with prison population information received from all prison establishments in Northern Ireland. The methodology used to obtain the average figures and details on definitions used in this report, can be found at the end of the report.

2. National Statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs and are produced free from any political interference. They are also subject to restrictions in terms of pre-release access.

3. The bulletin is available in PDF format from either the DOJ website at or Statistics and Research Branch, Knockview Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast BT4 3SL Email:

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