16 people sent to jail everyday for non-payment of fines 1/1/10-31/3/10

Newsy

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According to the Irish Prison Service Annual Report 2010, the number of people jailed for not paying fines was up 91% in 2009

A total of 1,431 people were sent to prison for non-payment of fines in the three months to the end of March 2010.
FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) » Promoting access to justice in Ireland » Home Page

Between January 1st and March 31st, 16 people were sent to jail EVERYDAY for non payment of fines!!!! :eek::eek:

There is something TOTALLY inhuman about this situation. What a small-minded mentality that sends people to jail for non-payment of fines, when at the same time, bankers who washed the economy down the drain while our gov. looked on!!!

There really is something that is incredibly inhuman AND barbaric about this situation. There appears to be one law for one group of our citizens and another law for another group.

I know there will be posters who will say that they deserve to go to jail......but surely we would hope to be somewhat more progressive in such treatment. It really is a gross embarrassment that such an attitude still prevails in this country. There HAS to be a better way forward, than jail.
 


He3

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There is a key piece of information missing there.

Many prisoners already doing time are fined for further offences that only come before a Court while they are already in prison. The fine invariably is not paid and they opt to do time instead, - often a matter of days or weeks, which simply rolls into their current sentence.

Break out those figures and we could see the picture we need to see.
 

Paddythai

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The prison service is stretched to the limit.
Crime is on the increase.

The procedure is a s follows;
Judge issues commital order.
Gardai take you to jail
Prison service signs you in then signs you out.
Fine no longer due.

I amy be wrong but a prison officer told me this is how it works MOST of the time.
 

slx

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I just cannot understand how after all these years we can't have a community service or some kind of socially progressive layer to the justice system for minor issues like this.

Jail is expensive, there is no capacity and it's completely counterproductive in most of these cases.

It really should be reserved as a sanction for dangerous criminals, particularly where violence is involved or the person is a danger to others.

There's a cost v. benefit analysis missing here!
 

NYCKY

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16 people every day? How long before everyone in the country is in jail?
 

Old Mr Grouser

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I just cannot understand how after all these years we can't have a community service or some kind of socially progressive layer to the justice system for minor issues like this. ...
Your quite right. The present system is a disgrace.

In the UK they'd collect the money by way of an Attachment of Earnings Order. Those Orders are used in Ireland but only, inexplicably, only in connection with Maintenance Orders, for wives or children.

Have you looked at "An End based on Means" - http://www.flac.ie/download/pdf/an_e...d_on_means.pdf - the recommendations for reform made by the Free Legal Advice Centres in 2003?
 

CarnivalOfAction

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FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) » Promoting access to justice in Ireland » Home Page

Between January 1st and March 31st, 16 people were sent to jail EVERYDAY for non payment of fines!!!! :eek::eek:

There is something TOTALLY inhuman about this situation. What a small-minded mentality that sends people to jail for non-payment of fines, when at the same time, bankers who washed the economy down the drain while our gov. looked on!!!

There really is something that is incredibly inhuman AND barbaric about this situation. There appears to be one law for one group of our citizens and another law for another group.

I know there will be posters who will say that they deserve to go to jail......but surely we would hope to be somewhat more progressive in such treatment. It really is a gross embarrassment that such an attitude still prevails in this country. There HAS to be a better way forward, than jail.
Wouldn't it be much more cost-efficient to bail out these small-time debtors [& save the huge cost of jailing them] than the continue the multi-billion bailing out of the big-time debtors, for whom jail may provide a useful lesson?
 

Old Mr Grouser

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There's a cost v. benefit analysis missing here!
I totally agree.

It must be costing a fortune to put these people through the courts, and in and out of prison. I read something recently, I forget where, so don't quote me, but I think it was in the UK, and it was £8,000 a time for these petty in-and-out sentences.

But whatever the cash cost the really massive damage is in the disruption of the court system and the prisons. You can't put a price on that.
 

Tony Liar

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What happens to dear Seanie Fitz for costing the state €24 billion so far?

A smile and a chauffeur driven Jaguar from the 4 courts. Nice. Easy.
 

ne0ica

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They should put in place a mechanism to allow fines to be deducted from your dole/salart/pension etc.

P.S People should be prosecuted for crimes. This nonsence that because bankers have not been jailed by the weight of public opinion and columns in newspapers means that no one should be procecuted is silly liberal bs.
 

Paddythai

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I don't know what are the statistics for SMEs going out of business every week but their is a good chance that a sizable portion of them will be leaving debts behind. This debt will likely include tax owed to revenue.
Some of these people may be choosing to go broke without paying debts with money thay have squirreled away but others will have tried everything and still gone bust. These folk may genuinely not have any money and not entitled to SW payments even after years of paying tax.
Will/should these people end up going to jail for non payment of debt?
 

goosebump

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I totally agree.

It must be costing a fortune to put these people through the courts, and in and out of prison.
Why bother having a criminal justice system at all? Think of all the money we could save if we didn't have any courts, trials or prison. Heck, why not just get rid of the Gardai too?
 

GJG

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Why bother having a criminal justice system at all? Think of all the money we could save if we didn't have any courts, trials or prison. Heck, why not just get rid of the Gardai too?
Sending people to prison for debts is different because it simply serves no purpose.

Imprisoning people for crimes provides a deterrent and also keeps people with a propensity to commit crimes out of circulation. Imprisoning people defying court orders for either civil or criminal contempt compels them to obey the law.

But imprisoning them for debts is simply daft. It doesn't make the creditor richer, but it makes the state poorer. Clearly someone refusing to pay is one thing and may be justified, but when someone is unable to pay, then imprisoning them just wipes out any chance they may of having in the future.

Instead, the court should have the power to vary their tax-free allowance of social welfare to collect a manageable amount, and pay it to their creditors.
 

Paddythai

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agree CJG.
I still do wonder if the reality is that people are processed into prison and then released as the Prison service just can't keep admitting people.

Even if this is the case for debtors they might then have difficulty emigrating as they now have a criminal record as well as being broke. Doesn't give them much options to contribute to society when they get out of prison.
 


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