NI Prison Service Statistics

Statistics on the populations of prisons in Northern Ireland including future developments and quality assurance arrangements for source administrative data.

The Northern Ireland Prison Population Bulletin is a National Statistical annual publication.  It details key statistics relating to the average daily prison population levels and receptions for Northern Ireland, and includes data by prison establishment, custody type, gender, age, sentence length and principal offence categories.  It also includes some international data for comparison purposes.
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Population Bulletins

Methodology and Quality Assurance


A consultation exercise with prison statistics users was carried out in late 2013/early 2014 to identify the preferred longer-term structure and format of publications.  The consultation involved an online survey conducted across Northern Ireland and also gathered the views of selected British, Irish and European statistical colleagues and academics.  The outcome of the survey is available below:

Following this consultation, various changes were made to the format of the publication to improve the quality and better meet user needs. This included making data available in excel, publication of infographics and including a more detailed analysis/explanation of trends.

The consultation also asked “Which of the models for presenting data would best suit your needs?”  The options were either calendar or financial year.  The provision of figures on a financial basis was requested by a substantial proportion of respondents.  Following on from this the next three annual reports included data for both financial and calendar year. A further consultation of known users, academics and interested parties, was carried out during April/May 2018 regarding proposed changes to the publication reporting periods. The results of this survey can be found using the link below:

A user consultation on content changes to the Northern Ireland Prison Population report is underway and will close on 24th June 2022. Views on these proposed changes are welcomed and can be submitted by completing the following short online survey:



Related to NI Prison Service Statistics

Access to information

How to request information from the Department of Justice including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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