For 30 years, the Council of Europe has surveyed the continent’s prisoner population. The latest figures are for 2015 and they show that there were just over 1.4 million people held in penitentiary institutions. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of inmates fell by around 102,800 or 7%.
Nearly one in every five prisoners or 18.7%, is in prison for drugs-related offences, mainly trafficking. That’s the largest single group identified in the survey, ahead of homicide at 13.2% and robbery at 12.6%.
Prison overcrowding remains a problem across the continent. One third of all administrations reported being overcrowded. And, of those in prison, the vast majority are still men.