Source: (2005) European Journal of Criminology. 2(1): 99-131.Criminology remains underdeveloped in the Republic of Ireland and, although some excellent pieces of scholarship have appeared down the years, an adequate body of knowledge is still some way distant. Despite the limitations of the available information, a number of trends can be discerned. The rate of recorded crime reached a peak in the early 1980s and then fell for four years. This pattern was repeated in the mid-1990s. In 1996 the debate about law and order became hotly politicized. This marked the beginning of a steady increase in the prison population. Despite surging costs, the criminal justice agencies have been slow to embrace a culture of performance management and evaluation. Policymaking is characterized by a mixture of inertia and sudden upheaval.