Brussels/Strasbourg (MTI) – Overcrowding in prisons remained a problem in several European countries including Hungary despite a drop in the number of inmates, a survey released by the Council of Europe (CoE) on Tuesday said.

The Annual Penal Statistics covering 45 countries reported prison overcrowding in 15 countries including Hungary in 2015.

At the time of the survey, Hungary had 17,773 detainees compared to a total prison capacity of 13,736, putting the occupancy rate at 129.4 percent, the third highest, the report said.

The report showed improvement in Hungary’s prison occupancy since 2014, when it topped the list with 142 percent.

In terms of prison space per inmate Hungary came off worst in the report with only 2.8 square metres. The country in these terms was followed by Macedonia with 2.9 sqms and Estonia with 3 sqms, the report showed.

In the terms of the number of detainees per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest figure, 439.2, was reported in Russia compared to the average of 115.7 across the CoE member states, and the lowest, 53, in the Netherlands. The number in Hungary was 180.8, down from 185 in 2014, the report said.

The survey conducted by the University of Lausanne for the CoE showed about 1.4 million people held in prisons across Europe in 2015, which is 6.8 percent lower than in 2014.


Source: MTI

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