Yesterday we reported on how prisoners in Northern Ireland were being paid £1.94 million in benefits they were not entitled to. In this post we explain the background to the story. Continue reading How we did it: tracking overpayments to prisoners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Prisoners in Northern Ireland have been paid £1.94 million in benefits over the last six years, despite not being entitled to them, according to data obtained by Help Me Investigate.
And “overpayments” to prisoners – the official term for paying benefits to those in prison – have increased by more than half in the last year for which figures were available.
Freedom of Information requests by Help Me Investigate reveal that the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland (DSDNI) paid prisoners £198,299 in benefits in 2011, increasing to £307,501 in 2012.
Prisoners’ rights to benefits are suspended upon their criminal conviction. However, it is up to the Department of Justice or the prisoner to inform DSDNI of the conviction. Continue reading Prisoners overpaid £2m in benefits in Northern Ireland