JUST under 10% of inmates in prisons last year in Ireland had an address from Cork.
According to the 2020 annual report from the Irish Prison Service, Cork was the second most commonly declared county of residence of people in prisons across the country.
Cork was second only to Dublin, which accounted for almost a third of people serving time in prison last year.
515 of prisoners had a Cork address, while 1,692 had a Dublin address.
According to the report, 7% of inmates at Cork prison were serving life sentences.
Meanwhile, the daily average number of people granted temporary release from Cork prison was 55. In recent weeks, the number of people on temporary release has reached 70 on some days.
Sources have told The Echo that the numbers on temporary release from the prison have increased in recent weeks to allow for Covid-19 distancing restrictions within the prison.
Minister Hildegarde Naughton, who has responsibility for Civil and Criminal Justice, said: “Work is well advanced in the Department of Justice on a review of policy options for prison and penal reform to examine how we can reduce reoffending and make our communities safer.
I look forward to publishing its initial findings in the autumn.”
A statement from the Irish Penal Reform Trust said: “The pandemic offered an opportunity to reduce Ireland’s overreliance on custodial remand, however, the Annual Report published today shows a 4.4% increase in the average number of people being held on remand.
"In December 2020, 11.5% of all remand prisoners had been on remand a year or more, compared with 6% in December 2019. Pre-trial detention should be used as an exceptional measure but it appears that it risks becoming a default response. During the pandemic, those on remand were the most likely to have experienced harsher conditions within Irish prisons.”