Council of Europe Survey Shows Mixed Feelings about Georgia’s Prison Situation

Georgian prisons in 2014: “a high share of inmates per capita, density in prisons among lowest in Europe, 2nd highest share of prisoners serving sentences for drug offences.”

According to the 2014 Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics (SPACE), published on 15 March 2016, the following can now be said about Georgia’s improved, albeit still somewhat alarming, state in prison administration and population:


There is a total of 10,233 inmates in Georgia, which amounts to 228 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants. This is significantly higher than the Council of Europe (CoE) average of 124. Georgia is among those countries with the highest prison population rates, along with the Russian Federation (467.1), Lithuania (305), Latvia (240.3), Azerbaijan (238.2), Estonia (225.1), Ukraine (204), Poland (203.5), the Republic of Moldova (201.3), Turkey (197.5), etc.

Since 2005, this ratio (number of inmates per 100,000 inhabitants) has remained largely unchanged (from 200.6 in 2005 to 228 inmates in 2014). The peak (516) was in 2012, before the large-scale amnesty took place.


The median age of inmates in Georgia is 35, while percentage of females (2.5%) is twice lower than the CoE average (5%).


There is no overcrowding in Georgian prisons: currently, there are 47.2 inmates per 100 available places in custody, which the lowest after Andorra, Monaco and Liechtenstein (Europe’s average is 94 inmates).


In 2014, Georgia was the country with the 2nd highest in Europe percentage of prisoners serving sentences for drug offences (37.5%, or more than every 3rd prisoner). This is the most common offence. Georgia is among those countries with the highest rates of prisoners sentenced for drug offences per capita (more than 30 per 100,000 inhabitants), along with Russia (81 per 100,000), Azerbaijan (57), Estonia (45), Malta (40) and Montenegro (35). In Georgia, the figure is 72 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants.

Theft is the 2nd most common offence (some 30% of prisoners serve their sentence for theft).

Georgia is among the countries that experienced the highest rates of prisoners sentenced for theft (more than 30 per 100,000 population), along with the Slovak Republic (30), Hungary (33), Azerbaijan (35), the FYRO Macedonia (36), Lithuania (38), Latvia (39), Romania (40), Bulgaria (44), Poland (46), Ukraine (51). For Georgia, the indicator is the highest, 55 persons per 100,000 population.

Homicide (murder and attempted murder) amounts for 13.6% of all sentences served.

17 March 2016 19:16