• Print
  • Email author
  • Bookmark and Share

Council of Europe: Ten-year trends in European prisons

4th December 2018

The Council of Europe today published two reports reflecting the trends in European prisons from 2005 to 2015, and the evolution of foreign offenders in prison and under probation from 2009 to 2015.

The report reflecting trends in European prisons ‘Prisons in Europe 2005-2015’ shows that from 2005 to 2015 the geographic distribution of prison population rates (number of inmates per 100,000 inhabitants) remained stable across Europe. The report contains a fact-sheet with key data and tables showing the evolution of seventeen indicators as well as the relative position of the country (low, medium or high for each indicator compared to the 47 Council of Europe member states, and 28 member states of the EU).

Ireland’s 'Country Profile' shows a decrease in a number of indicators, comparing 2014/2015 to 2005. These include: average length of detention based on the total number of days spent in penal institutions (-17%), percentage of pre-trial detainees among foreign inmates (-31%), percentage of non-sentenced inmates (-20%), rate of deaths per 10,000 inmates (-17%), percentage of suicides (-17%), percentage of custodial staff in the total staff (-7%), and average amount spent per day for the detention of one inmate (-25%).

Comparing 2014/15 to 2005, the following indicators show an increase: rate of entries into penal institutions (+34%), rate of releases from penal institutions (+8%), percentage of female inmates (+5%), ratio of inmates per staff (+15%), and total budget spent by the prison administration (+12%).

In comparison to other European countries in 2014/15, Ireland has a low: prison population rate, rate of deaths per 10,000 inmates, and ratio of inmates per staff.

In comparison to other European countries in 2014/15, Ireland has a high: rate of entries into penal institutions, rate of releases from penal institutions, average amount spent per day for the detention of one inmate.

The Country Profile reports that the Irish Prison and Probation Service's increased focus over the ten-year period on working more closely with other agencies to rehabilitate offenders, such as An Garda Síochána and the Irish Youth Justice Service, may have had an impact on figures. 

Read ‘Prisons in Europe 2005 – 2015 Volume 1’ in full here.

Read Ireland’s 'Country Profile' here.

Read ‘Foreign offenders in prison and probation in Europe’ here.

Related:

viewed here