|Between 1995 and 2000, the crime rate in Ireland dropped by over 20 percent and the prison population rose by 50 percent (see O'Donnell and O'Sullivan, 2001, Crime Control in Ireland: The Politics of Intolerance, Cork University Press).. The Minister for Justice has claimed that the decrease in crime rates is due to the increase in the prison population. The purpose of this paper is to map recent trends in the use of prison and to explore the relationship between rates of crime and rates of imprisonment. To our knowledge this is the first time that such an analysis has been attempted using Irish data.
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