Almost half of prisoners reoffend within three years of their release, it has been revealed.
Just under 46pc of those freed from jail during 2012 were convicted of another crime.
However, the rate of reoffending, or recidivism, has fallen. It stood at 48.9pc in 2011.
The rate of reoffending by men, at almost 48pc, is higher than that by women, at 36pc.
Ex-prisoners who are under 21 are three times more likely to reoffend than those over 50.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said there had been a 9pc fall in reoffending rates among those released from prison in 2012 compared with 2007.
"It is worth noting that the figures reported today pre-date many of the enhanced prisoner programmes introduced by the Irish Prison Service in recent years," he said.
He added that rates were high for a number of offences, including robbery, burglary and theft, according to the Central Statistics Office figures.
"The Government is determined that there will be no let-up on the pressure which the gardai are bringing to bear on those engaged in burglary and robbery," Mr Flanagan added.
Meanwhile, separate figures indicate that women are far more likely to take on the role of stay-at-home parent than men.
The official data reveals a huge gap between the proportion of women and men with children who are part of the country's workforce.
A total of 88pc of all men who are part of a couple with children work, compared with just 68pc of women.
However, the gap between the participation rates of men and women in the workforce who do not have children is much narrower.
"Women still very much assume the stay-at-home parent and homemaker role," said Taxback.com chief executive Joanna Murphy.
The data also shows that roughly one in 10 people aged under 60 are living in jobless households, a slight fall from 10.2pc last year.
Dublin had the lowest proportion living in jobless households, at 7pc, while the midlands had the highest, at 15pc.