From Iceland — Fewer People In Prison Than Majority Of Europe, But The Number Is Rising

Fewer People In Prison Than Majority Of Europe, But The Number Is Rising

Published April 8, 2021

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Iceland is on the list of European countries where the number of prisoners has steadily increased the most proportionally.

From January 2019 to January 2020, the number of prisoners in Iceland increased by 11.7%, the third largest increase after Malta and Cyprus.

This is stated in a new Council of Europe summary on prison issues published today.

You’ve been nicked

Iceland is, however, the country in Europe with the lowest proportion of prisons.

In Iceland, there are 45 people for every 100,000 inhabitants in prison, the proportion is slightly higher in Finland. This is followed by the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The country with the largest proportion of prisoners in Europe is Turkey, with 357 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants. It is followed by Russia with 356 prisoners per 100,000.

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Nearly 20% prisoners in Europe are serving a sentence for drug-related offenses. In Iceland, almost 35% of prisoners are convicted of such offenses.

Iceland also comes to the fore when looking at statistics on prisoners who have been convicted of traffic offenses. Iceland is in second place after Bulgaria, but about 14% of prisoners here have been convicted of traffic offenses. The European average is around 3%.

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