Prison Statistics By Country, Prisons, Cases, Location, Custody, Age Group And Inmates

Maitrayee Dey
Written by
Maitrayee Dey

Updated · Jun 26, 2024

Rohan Jambhale
Edited by
Rohan Jambhale

Editor

Prison Statistics By Country, Prisons, Cases, Location, Custody, Age Group And Inmates

Introduction

Prison Statistics: Prisons play a complex role in society, and understanding the demographics of incarcerated individuals can provide insight into the concepts of justice and rehabilitation. The following prison statistics encompass current trends and analyses from various perspectives. They offer valuable insights into why prisons are crucial for housing criminals worldwide. Let’s explore some intriguing statistics about prisoners in the United States.

Editor’s Choice

  • According to Prison Statistics, around 60% of prisoners were female, which is almost 740,000, compared to 22% of male prisoners worldwide.
  • In the United States, 1,071,000 prisoners will be locked in state prisons by 2024, followed by 550,000 prisoners in local jails and 208,000 prisoners in federal prisons and jails.
  • On March 31, 2024, the total number of male and female sentenced prisoners was 5246, of which 2829 were remand-accused prisoners and almost 1367 were remand-convicted prisoners.
  • Lichtenstein captured the largest share of pre-trial detainees, 100% and 23.3% of inmates in the United States in October 2023.
  • The shares of sentenced prisoners by security classification are 36% maximum, 25.1% low, 20.4% medium-low, 14.2% high, 2.4% unclassified, and 1.9% maximum.
  • Prison Statistics further state that the highest prisoner rate was captured by EI Salvador, with over 1,086 prisoners per 100,000 of the national population, in January 2024.
  • Globally, more than 23 million children were affected by imprisonment.
  • In 2024, the largest prison in the world is New Bilibid Prison, with 28,500 inmates.
  • Whereas the largest female prisoner share was obtained in Hong Kong with 20% share in 2023, other women inmates share by country are Macau (15%) and the United States (10%).
  • The largest absolute number of people in prison in the United States of America was 1.84 million, and the highest prison population rate was 629 per 100K people in 2023.

General Prison Statistics

  • In China, pre-trial and other forms of detention accounted for 1.69 million, followed by Brazil (811,000), India (478,000), and Russia (471,000).
  • The occupancy level in the Republic of Congo is over 600%, resulting in more than 1,300 prisoners in March 2023.
  • Around 82% of the prison population in Haiti was under pre-trial, while India and Nigeria made up a share of 70%.
  • Prison Statistics elaborates that in 2023, the death penalty was banned in all circumstances across 46 countries of the Council of Europe.
  • 70% of prison laborers claimed that after joining, they didn’t receive any formal or special training for dealing with prisoners.
  • 64% of prison workers also said that they felt concerned about their safety while engaging with prisoners.
  • Poor conditions occur due to prison overcrowding around the world, which results in life-threatening causes.

Population on the Rise

The U.S. has the world’s largest incarcerated population. As of 2022, over 1.2 million people were in state and federal prisons—that’s about the population of a big city! This number has been increasing for decades, though the rate of growth has slowed down recently.

Gender and Age

The vast majority of prisoners, around 90%, are men. The number of women in prison has grown faster than the number of men in recent years, but it’s still a much smaller group. Most prisoners are between 25 and 44 years old, though the prison population is aging as well.

Race and Ethnicity

Race plays a big role in who ends up in prison. Black people are incarcerated at a rate that is five times higher than white people, even though they commit crimes at similar rates. This is a complex issue with historical roots, and it’s something many people are working to change.

What are they in for?

Drug offenses are the most common reason for incarceration, followed by violent crimes and property crimes. It’s important to note that these statistics only reflect people who have been convicted of crimes. Many people spend time in jail while awaiting trial, and they are not included in these numbers.

Length of Stay

The average sentence length in the U.S. has been increasing for decades. In 2022, the average state prison sentence was about 7 years. However, many people are sentenced to much longer terms, and some people die in prison.

Life after Release

Being released from prison can be a difficult experience. Former prisoners often face challenges finding jobs and housing, and they may have trouble reconnecting with their families and communities. These challenges can make it more likely that they will end up back in prison.

The Cost of Incarceration:

Locking people up is expensive. The annual cost of incarceration in the U.S. is estimated to be over $80 billion. That’s a lot of money that could be spent on education, healthcare, or other social programs.

Prisoners Rate Statistics By Country

countries-with-the-largest-number-of-prisoners-per-100-000-of-the-national-population-as-of-january-2024.

(Reference: statista.com)

  • As per a report published by Statista, in January 2024, EI Salvador had the highest prisoner rate worldwide, with over 1,086 prisoners per 100,000 of the national population.
  • Meanwhile, Cuba and Rwanda had 794 prisoners and 637 prisoners per 100K of the population, respectively.
  • In January 2024, other countries’ prisoner rate per 100,000 of the national population were Turkmenistan (576), American Samoa (538), United States (531), Panama (499), Guam (475), Palau (428), Uruguay (424), Seychelles (413), Bahamas (409), Turkey (400), Brazil (390), Thailand (377), Virgin Islands (368), Cabo Verde (366), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (353), Dominica (348), Virgin Island (345), Belarus (345), Grenada (335), Nicaragua (332), Namibia (318), Maldives (314), French Guiana (305), Costa Rica (301), Russian Federation (300), St. Kitts and Nevis (296), and Belize (289).

Numbers of Prisoners Statistics By Country

countries-with-the-largest-number-of-prisoners-as-of-december-2023

(Reference: statista.com)

  • Under Prison Statistics, by the end of 2023, the highest number of incarcerated individuals worldwide was accounted for by the United States of America, with almost 1.8 million prisoners.
  • The second and third largest countries with the total number of prisoners are China and Brazil, having 1.6 million and 840 thousand prisoners.
  • Furthermore, other countries with the most prisoners in December 2023 were India (573K), Russian Federation (433K), Turkey (341K), Indonesia (267K), Thailand (262K), Mexico (234K), Iran (189K), Philippines (181K), South Africa (157K), Vietnam (134K), Egypt (120K), Argentina (118K), Ethiopia (110K), Colombia (102K), Myanmar (100K), Morocco (100K), and Algeria (95K).

Prison Occupancy Rates By Country

prison-occupancy-rates-in-central-america-as-of-2024-by-country.

(Reference: statista.com)

  • A statistical report states that in Central America, the prison occupancy rate is expected to remain highest in Guatemala with a share of 293.2%, in 2024.
  • Meanwhile, the second and third highest prison occupancy rates in EI Salvador and Nicaragua resulted in 236.7% and 177.6%, respectively.
  • Whereas Panama follows other countries’ prison occupancy rates in Central America (152.4%), Honduras (150.8%), Costa Rica (120.4%), and Belize (57.1%).

By Prisons and Cases

(Source: prisonpolicy.org)

  • According to Prison Statistics, in the United States, 1 071,000 prisoners were locked in state prisons in 2024, followed by 550,000 prisoners in local jails and 208,000 prisoners in federal prisons and jails.
  • A total 674,000 numbers of prisoners are currently present in the state prisons for violent cases.
  • Meanwhile, different violent case prisoners in the U.S. state prisons are followed by murder (163,000), manslaughter (20,000), rape or sexual assault (168,000), robbery (128,000), assault (154,000), and other violent (41,000).
  • The total number of property case prisoners is 139,000, and those are segmented into theft (26,000), car theft (7,000), burglary (79,000), fraud (12,000), and other property (16,000).
  • Drug case prisoners: 134,000; for drug possession (36,000), and for other drug cases, 134,000 prisoners.
  • In 2024, the total number of public order prisoners is 117,000, of which 16,000 prisoners are for driving under the influence, followed by weapons (43,000) and other cases (58,000).
  • There are more than 550,000 prisoners in the local jail, of whom 103,000 are convicted and 448,000 are non-convicted.
  •  The number of convicted prisoners in 2024 includes violence (22,000), property (25,000), drug (24,000), public order (31,000), and others (500).
  • However, number of non-convicted prisoners in the U.S. are categorized by cases are violent (142,000), property (111,000), drug (114,000), public order (78,000), and other (7,000).
  • Moreover, almost 208,000 prisoners are currently present in Federal Prisons and Jails, with 147,000 convicted prisoners and 60,000 marshals’ prisoners present in the nation in 2024.
  • Convicted prisoners by cases are public order (63,000), violet (11,000), property (6,000), drug (68,000), and others (400). At the same time, Marshal’s prisoner cases are followed by immigration (14,000), drug (21,000), and others (25,000).

Private Prisoners Statistics

(Source: prisonpolicy.org)

  • As elaborated in Prison Statistics, in the U.S., only 8% of confined people will be held in private prisons in 2024.
  • Currently, around 16,000 prisoners are present in local jail systems; other prisoners include 5000 (youth systems) and 30,000 (immigration and customs enforcement).
  • There are around 20,000 people held by the Bureau of Prisons and Marshals Services in the U.S. and 79,000 people in state prison systems.

Statistics For Serious Similar Offenses

rearrested-for-similar-offense

(Reference: prisonpolicy.org)

  • The most serious offenses for recent incarceration were 51% drug-related cases that rearrested people within 3 years of release from prison.
  • Furthermore, other offenses shared are public order (50%), property (45%), and violence (25%).

Prisoners Statistics By Location and Custody

  • On March 31, 2024, in Auckland prison, the total number of male sentenced prisoners was 4988, with remand accused prisoners 2,662, followed by remand convicted prisoners (1,186) as mentioned in Prison Statistics.
  • In Auckland South Corrections Facility, there were 956 male prisoners sentenced.
  • 346 male sentenced prisoners were present in Christchurch Men’s Prison, of which 269 remand accused and 211 convicted prisoners were independently present.

Other male prisoners are described below:

Prisons NameRemand Accused PrisonersRemand Convicted PrisonersSentenced Prisoners
Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison11192367
Invercargill Prison533183
Manawatu Prison6360121
Mount Eden Corrections Facility73321922
Northland Region Corrections Facility17162294
Otago Corrections Facility128118236
Rimutaka Prison451119303
Rolleston Prison459
Spring Hill Corrections Facility49169232
Tongariro Prison00377
Waikeria Prison4034375
Whanganui Prison11355327
  • Moreover, in March 2024, Prison Statistics show that the total number of sentenced female prisoners was 258, which is segmented into remand-accused prisoners (167) followed by remand-convicted prisoners (181).
  • In Arohata Prison, the total number of sentenced female prisoners was 26, followed by remand accused and convicted prisoners, who were 37 and 48, respectively.
  • Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility prisoners include remand accused (102), remand convicted (103), and sentenced prisoners (155).
  • Christchurch Women’s Prison has remanded accused prisoners (28), remanded convicted prisoners (30), and sentenced prisoners (77).

Prison Population Statistics By Age Group

prison-population-by-age-group

(Reference: corrections. govt.nz)

  • According to Prison Statistics, 36% of global prisoners were aged 30 to 39 as of March 2024.
  • 2% of prisoners and 14.7% of the prisoner population were aged from 40 to 49 years and 25 to 29 years, respectively.
  • Furthermore, other prisoner’s shares in the 1st quarter of 2024 by age group are followed by 12% (50 to 59 years), 7.9% (20 to 24 years), and 1.4% (under 20 years).

By Ethnicity

prison-ethnicity

(Reference: corrections. govt.nz)

  • Prisoner Statistics show that 52.4% of United States prisoners belong to Maori in Q1 of 2024.
  • Other prisoner populations, based on ethnicity, include European (29.6%), Pacific (11.6%), Asian (4.6%), and unknown (1.8%).

By Offence Type

(Reference: corrections. govt.nz)

  • Prison Statistics also mentioned that, in the prison population, 21% share was made by acts intended to cause injury offenses.
  • The next offense type shares are prisoners are sexual assault (20.6%) and unlawful entry with intent/burglary (10.7%)
  • In addition, other offense type share in the Q1 of 2024 were homicide (8.8%), illicit drug offenses (8.6%), robbery, extortion (6.2%), offenses against justice (6%), theft (5.3%), abduction, harassment (3.5%), prohibited and regulated weapons (2.2%), fraud, deception (1.9%), property damage (1.8%), traffic (1.7%), public order (0.9%), dangerous or negligent acts (0.6%), and miscellaneous offenses (0.2%).

Foreign Prisoners Statistics

countries-with-the-largest-share-of-foreign-prisoners-as-of-november-2023.

(Reference: statista.com)

  • As elaborated in Prison Statistics, Monaco captured the largest share of foreign prisoners, with 93% of its detainees being foreigners in November 2023.
  • The second and third largest shares of foreign prisoners by country were the United Arab Emirates (87.8%) and Liechtenstein (83.3%).
  • In the same period, countries with the largest share of foreign prisoners include Luxembourg (73.7%), Macau (72.1%), Switzerland (71%), Andorra (70.6%), Gambia (66.7%), French Guiana (63%), America Samoa (62.2%), Greece (58.6%), Austria (52.2%), Cyprus (52.1%), Aruba (50%), Saudi Arabia (49%), Malta (44%), Belgium (43.4%), Israel (38.9%), Lebanon (36%), and Gibraltar (33.9%).

Largest Prisons Statistics By Inmates

  • Prison Statistics also show that the top-ranked prison is New Bilibid Prison, located in Muntinlupa, Philippines. In 2024, it had 28,500 inmates.
  • The other largest prison in the world is Silivri Prison (Silivri, Turkey), with 22,000 inmates, followed by Klong Prem Central Prison (Bangkok, Thailand), with up to 20,000 inmates.
  • Furthermore, the next largest prisons by number of inmates include Los Angeles County Jail (Los Angeles, USA): 19,836, Tihar Jail (West Delhi, India): 19,500, Rikers Island (New York City, USA): 13,849, The Harris County Jail (Texas, USA): 10,044, The Maricopa County Jail (Phoenix, Arizona, USA): 9,265, Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA): 8,811, and Metro West Detention Centre (Miami, Florida, USA): 7,050.

Children Detention Rate Statistics

rate-of-children-in-detention-per-100-000

(Reference: unicef.org)

  • As mentioned in Prison Statistics in 2023, the highest number of children in detention was experienced by North America, with a detention rate of 126%, and globally, the detention rate was 30%.
  • The detention rate in Latin America and the Caribbean reached 75%, and in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, it was 29%.
  • Moreover, other countries with high child detention rates were Western Europe (24%), South Asia (24%), and East Asia and the Pacific (19%).

Prisoner Death Statistics By Race

number-of-prisoners-on-death-row-in-the-united-states-in-2023-by-race

(Reference: statista.com)

  • In the United States of America, the total number of deaths inside prison was observed to be 978 in white people by the end of 2023.
  • During the same time, Prison Statistics further states that the number of Black and Latino people who died inside the prison was 961 and 325, respectively.
  • In addition, other prisoner’s deaths by ethnicity were Asian (44) and Native America (23).

Prisoners Under Federal Jurisdiction By Security Level

percentage-of-sentenced-prisoners-under-federal-jurisdiction-in-the-united-states-in-2023-by-security-level.

(Reference: statista.com)

  • In the United States, 35.4% of federal inmates were available in low-security prison facilities in October 2023.
  • On the other hand, 34.2% of the inmates were in medium security facilities and 14.9% (minimum security facility).
  • Whereas inmates shared by high and unclassified security facilities were 12.1% and 3.5%, respectively.

By Sentence Imposed

number-of-sentenced-prisoners-under-federal-jurisdiction-in-the-united-states-in-2023-by-sentence-imposed

(Reference: statista.com)

  • Prison Statistics in the United States depict that almost 3,676 prisoners under federal jurisdiction were sentenced to life in prison.
  • 22,574 prisoners were sentenced for more than 20 years, and 18,767 prisoners for 15 to 20 years.
  • The total number of prisoners by the sentence imposed in the U.S. was 33,505 (10 to 15 years), 37,113 (5 to 10 years), 14,408 (3 to 5 years), 13,818 (1 to 3 years), 3,122 (less than one year), and 43 (Death imprisonment).

Looking Forward

There is a growing movement to reform the criminal justice system in the U.S. People are calling for shorter sentences, an end to racial disparities in incarceration, and more focus on rehabilitation programs that can help people avoid going back to prison.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Alternatives to Incarceration: Many programs can be used to punish criminals without putting them in prison. These programs can be less expensive and more effective at reducing crime.
  • Rehabilitation and Reintegration: Prisons should focus on helping people develop the skills and resources they need to succeed after release. This could include education, job training, and mental health treatment.
  • The Impact on Families: Incarceration has a ripple effect on families. Children of prisoners are more likely to experience problems in school and with the law. Spouses of prisoners may struggle financially and emotionally.

Conclusion

Prisoner statistics can be a dry topic, but they tell an important story about our society. By understanding who is in prison and why, we can have a more informed conversation about how to create a more just and equitable system. All the above statistical analyses will be beneficial.

FAQ.

What is the most important thing in prison?

The most important thing within prison is to build up a positive relationship.

Who is the main person in Prisons?

Guards and Wardens spent the majority of their time and attention on prisoners.

What is the name of a prisoner?

There are different names, such as Offender, Inmate, Felon, Criminal, Convict, Prisoner, and
Delinquent.

Maitrayee Dey
Maitrayee Dey

Maitrayee, after completing her graduation in Electrical Engineering, transitioned into the world of writing following a series of technical roles. She specializes in technology and Artificial Intelligence, bringing her experience as an Academic Research Analyst and Freelance Writer, with a focus on education and healthcare under the Australian system. From an early age, writing and painting have been her passions, leading her to pursue a full-time career in writing. In addition to her professional endeavors, Maitrayee also manages a YouTube channel dedicated to cooking.

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