Strasbourg, 03.05.2013 – Overcrowding is a problem in half of the European penitentiary administrations, according to the 2011 Council of Europe Penal Statistics (SPACE I) survey published today. On average, in September 2011, European prisons were at the top of their capacity, holding 99.5 inmates per 100 places.
The SPACE survey, which is published annually and is conducted for the Council of Europe by the Criminology and Criminal Law Institute of the University of Lausanne, provides an overview of the populations detained in the penal institutions across Europe (SPACE I ), and of persons placed under the supervision of probation agencies (SPACE II) .
Overcrowding remains a major concern despite a slight 2% decrease in the total prison population in the course of 2011: in September 2011 there were 1,825,356 inmates held in penal institutions across Europe versus 1,861,246 in 2010. In contrast, the average European prison population rate grew from 149 to 154 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants during 2011, because increases and decreases in the prison population are not distributed evenly across countries. Thus, the number of prison administrations which have to find measures to combat overcrowding remains high. (more...)