Sentencing someone to a year in jail costs the public at least €68,000 a year, a senior Government official has confirmed.
Department of Justice secretary general Aidan O'Driscoll revealed the cost of sending someone to jail during a meeting with TDs this morning.
Asked by Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy during the Dáil public accounts committee for the overall cost of jail time, Mr O'Driscoll said it is in the region of €68,000 a year.
The costs are based on housing someone in jail, heating, food, health and recreational costs.
After Ms Murphy said this shows the value of sentencing someone to non-jail time where possible Mr O'Driscoll agreed, saying he is in favour of this approach provided there is no risk of "recidivism".