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UNBELIEVABLE: Over half of people in jail banged up for not paying fines

NewsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
UNBELIEVABLE: Over half of people in jail banged up for not paying fines

Over half of those jailed in Ireland last year were banged up for non-payment of fines.

Shockingly 8,965 people were sent to prison in 2014 for not paying a fine, representing 55% of the total 16,155 jailed.

This staggering figure means that people who failed to pay their television license were given a criminal record and brought to jail, while suspended sentences were handed out for more serious offences in 2014.

Shockingly, figures show that a whopping 63 per cent of those in Cork prison were jailed for non-payment of fines.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show yesterday, the Director General of the Irish Prison Service, Michael Donnellan said that the long-awaited introduction of an instalment system to pay court fines will have a “huge impact” on the numbers being banged up.

“The introduction of fines as a sanction is very important because it is one of the least invasive sanctions in relation to people who come before the courts,” he said.

“If it can be administered in a modern, progressive way, It has a real place within a modern criminal justice system.

Meanwhile, a woman who beat her nine-year-old son with a tree branch and poured salt over his wounds received a suspended sentence HERE, a thug with 52 convictions avoided jail after breaking victims’ skull HERE, a man who raped his girlfriend regularly while she slept avoided jail HERE and a man avoided jail after sending a picture of penis to a schoolgirl and fondling her HERE.

Also, there was no jail sentence for thug who attacked a shopkeeper with sword while “out of his head” HERE, a pregnant Dubliner who assaulted two men with a high heel avoided jail HERE, there was no jail for a Dublin woman who smashed a glass bottle over a taxi drivers head HERE, there was no jail for woman found guilty of seriously neglecting her kids for 10-years HERE, a man who viciously beat and robbed an elderly farmer avoided jail HERE, there was no jail sentence for a man caught with €3k worth of heroin after a car crash HERE and there was no jail sentence for a woman who partially blinded a man in nightclub glass attack HERE.

Authorities claim that the new 'Payment and Recovery Act 2014' will mean that a number of alternatives to prison will become available, including paying in instalments, recovery orders and attachments to earnings, although jail will remain as the action of last resort.