The prison population rate in Georgia is the highest among European countries and amounts to 256.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to a new report commissioned by the Council of Europe.
The report, compiled by the University of Lausanne, covers 2015-2016 and contains information from 47 out of 52 prison administrations in the 47 Council of Europe member states, excluding Liechtenstein, Ukraine, Russia and two of the three prison administrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to the report, the total number of inmates in Georgia in 2016 was 9,534, which was 6.7% lower than the figure for 2015 (10,242). The total capacity of penal institutions was 12,681 places, while the average surface area available per inmate was four square meters.
The largest share of sentenced inmates (34.4%) was incarcerated for the period from five years to less than ten years, and 73 inmates (0.8%) were sentenced to life imprisonment. The average length of imprisonment was 16.9 months, while the median across Europe was 7.8.
The most common offences in 2016 were different types of theft (8,619), followed by drug offences (3,284) and homicide (1,193). Georgia was among the countries with the highest proportion of people imprisoned for drug offences (39%), along with Malta (43.5%), Andorra (33.3%), Italy (30.8%) and Iceland (30.3%).
With 12 registered deaths (including 2 suicides), Georgia was ranked the fifth among the countries with the lowest mortality rate per 10,000 inmates (11.7) in 2015.