Same Crime: Different Punishment? Investigating Sentencing Disparities Between Irish and Non-Irish Nationals in the Irish Criminal Justice System


Ireland’s economic growth from the late 1990s prompted sustained and diverse inward migration, resulting in substantial changes in the population and reshaping the social and cultural landscape. These shifts have also been visible among those processed by the criminal justice system, with a marked increase in the number of non-Irish nationals committed to Irish prisons. International research suggests that racism is a significant issue within criminal justice systems, with ethnic minority groups often disadvantaged. Despite these findings and the growth in non-Irish national prisoners, little research has assessed the impact of racial bias on Irish sentencing outcomes. This exploratory study examines whether disparities exist between the sentencing of Irish and non-Irish defendants, using data from the Irish Prison Service.

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