§ Ms Ruddock
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of prisoners per 100,000 population in(a) each EC country, (b) each other Council of Europe country and (c) the United States of America at the latest date for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Maclean
[holding answer 26 May 1994]: All the EC countries are covered by the statistics collated by the Council of Europe. The latest available information is given in the table.
An article on "International Comparisons of Prison Populations" by Collier and Tarling—Home Office research bulletin No. 23, pages 48 to 54—showed that the figures for different countries are unlikely to be strictly comparable because the definitions of prisons and prisoners vary from one country to another, reflecting different legal and administrative systems. Examples of differences in the definitions are the inclusion or exclusion in a country's figures of juvenile offenders and mentally disordered offenders. The table is not a reliable indication of punitiveness since it takes no account of the relative levels of crime or of the proportions successfully prosecuted.664W
Comparisons of prison population per 100,000 of national population by country, 1992 Country Number per 100,000 population Austria 88 Belgium 71 Bulgaria 102 Cyprus 32 Czech Republic 129 Denmark 66 Finland 65 France 84 Germany1 79 Greece 60 Hungary1 146 Iceland 39 Ireland, Republic of 62 Italy 80 Luxembourg 92 Netherlands 49 Norway1 59 Portugal 93 Slovak Republic 123 Spain 90 Sweden 63 Switzerland 77 England and Wales 91 Scotland 105 Northern Ireland 114 USA 547 1 For these countries 1992 data was unavailable, published 1991 data has been used instead.