CoE: Serbia ranks first in prison overcrowding

Around 1.7 million people were held in European prisons in 2012, and Serbia ranked first in prison overcrowding.

Source: Tanjug
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This is according to the Annual Penal Statistics of the Council of Europe, released in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

With the European average of 150 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants, and 145 inmates per 100 prison places, Serbia tops the list with an average 160 inmates per 100 places, followed by Italy (145), and Cyprus (140).

The report says that Serbia, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary and Belgium continue to be the countries where the situation is the most acute.

The report warns of increased rates of suicide in European prisons.

Convictions of theft, illegal drug trade (each 17 percent) and murder (13 percent) account for most prison sentences in Europe.

The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers and other bodies such as the Committee for the Prevention of Torture advised member states to solve the issue of prison overcrowding as soon as possible and boost the prospects of the inmates' reintegration.

Based on information from 47 prison administrations in 47 Council of Europe member states, the statistical survey was conducted by the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Law of the University of Lausanne.

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