News archive 2008
2.5m in pre-trial detention worldwide23 Jan 2008, PR 19/08
Two and a half million people are held in pre-trial detention and other forms of remand imprisonment throughout the world, according to the first edition of the World Pre-trial/Remand Imprisonment List, published today by the International Centre for Prison Studies.
The new list, compiled by Roy Walmsley, provides information on:
- the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners in 194 countries;
- the percentage of pre-trial/remand prisoners within each national prison population;
- the pre-trial/remand population rate (the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners per 100,000 of the national population).
Director of the International Centre for Prison Studies, Rob Allen comments: 'Pre-trial detention should be used sparingly yet remand prisoners are often held for excessively long periods in conditions that are worse than for sentenced prisoners. This new list should prompt policy makers in every country to consider what they can do to limit the size of their pre trial prison population. Excessive use such imprisonment does nothing to improve public safety.'
* The largest absolute numbers of pre-trial/remand prisoners are in the United States (476,000), India (250,000), Russia (136,000) and Brazil (122,000). China is believed to hold about 100,000 and Mexico holds 95,000.
* In a majority of countries the proportion of the total prison population who are in pre-trial/remand imprisonment is between 10 per cent and 40 per cent. But in almost half of African countries a majority of the prison population are pre-trial/remand prisoners.
* The countries with the highest proportion of the total prison population in pre-trial/remand imprisonment are: Liberia, where the prison administration reports that 97 per cent are so held, Mali (89 per cent), Haiti (84 per cent), Andorra (77 per cent), Niger (c76 per cent), Bolivia (75 per cent), Mozambique (73 per cent), Timor-Leste (71 per cent) and Democratic Republic of Congo and India (both 70 per cent).
* In a majority of countries the pre-trial/remand population rate is below 40 per 100,000 of the national population. However, in the Americas 80% of countries exceed that level.
* Panama has the highest pre-trial/remand population rate in the world, some 213 per 100,000, followed by Bahamas (198), Suriname (196), the United States (158), St. Kitts & Nevis (153), United Arab Emirates (135), Guam (129), Anguilla (124) and Uruguay (115).
*In England & Wales there are some 13,000 pre-trial/remand prisoners, 16.5 per cent of the total prison population. This represents a rate of 25 per 100,000 of the national population.
1. Rob Allen, Director of the International Centre for Prison Studies, King's College London.
Tel: 0207 848 1922, mobile: 07749 059891, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Roy Walmsley, Honorary consultant to the UN and Director of the World Prison Brief
Tel: 01689 811133
3. Andrew Coyle, Professor of Prison Studies, International Centre for Prison Studies, King's College London Tel: 020 7848 1922
4. Melanie Gardner, Public Relations Department, King's College London
Tel: 020 7848 3073, email: email@example.com
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher 2007) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has 19,700 students from more than 140 countries, and 5,400 employees. King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. The College is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings and has an annual income of approximately £400 million. An investment of £500 million has been made in the redevelopment of its estate.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, the health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres – more than any other university.
Melanie Gardner, Senior Public Relations Officer,
Tel: 020 7848 3073 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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