Press Association / Yahoo

The number of people jailed for not paying a court fine almost doubled last year for the second year in a row, new figures have revealed.

The Irish Prison Service’s latest report shows 4,806 people were put behind bars in 2009 for failing to pay fines – a jump of 91% from the previous year.

A spokesman for the service said there was no breakdown of the type of fines but they ranged from disorderly conduct and motoring offences to the non-payment of television licences.

“With the Minister for Justice introducing the Fines Bill in the near future we would expect this figure to drop fairly substantially,” he added.

A total of 12,339 people were sent to prison last year, an increase of 13% on 2008.

Nine out of ten of those jailed were men.

The number of people serving less than three months soared by more than 60% to 5,750, while inmates jailed for ten years or more rose by 8% from 65 to 70.

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