577. Deputy Réada Cronin asked the Minister for Justice the cost per annum to the Exchequer of keeping a prisoner in the prison system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37836/21]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy Hildegarde Naughton): I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that the average annual cost of an available, staffed prison space during the calendar year 2020 was €80,445, a 6.7% increase on the 2019 cost of €75,349. 
The figure includes all elements of net expenditure incurred to the Irish Prison Service vote within the year, (such as salaries, utilities/maintenance, ICT, services provided to prisoners including education, healthcare, work training etc.) excluding capital expenditure on buildings and vehicle purchases. 
I can further advise the Deputy, the increase on the 2019 figure is due to a number of once off factors leading to additional significant costs during 2020.
These factors include additional pay period for prison officers, Covid-19 pandemic related costs and once off approved Stimulus costs. 
If these once off expenditure items were to be removed from the calculations above the cost per available, staffed prison space for 2020 would reduce from €80,445, as above, to €76,632, an increase of 1.7% on the 2019 figure.