Statistics from prison officials show that of the 177 convicts currently behind bars, over one hundred of them are in for drug-related offences.
Erlend Baldursson, a criminologist working for the Office of Prisons, disclosed these figures to Fréttablaðið, saying that while not everyone behind bars has been convicted of drug offences, often the crimes they committed – whether assault or robbery – are connected to drugs in one way or another.
“When people commit violence they are often under the influence of controlled substances,” he said. “Although there has often been a misunderstanding that sexual assault and domestic violence are committed under the influence of drugs; these offences are often not drug-related at all. Men are often stone sober when they beat their wives.”
Helgi Gunnlaugsson, a criminologist at the University of Iceland, believes that Iceland’s drug world is large and growing. He points out that according to a report released by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, Iceland’s death toll related to drugs is among the highest in Europe, proportionately speaking.