With 264 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants as of January 31, 2020, Georgia ranked third out of 47 Council of Europe (CoE) member states with national incarceration rates, according to the CoE Annual Penal Statistics (SPACE I) report. The same statistic stood at 103.2 across Europe as a whole, while Turkey and Russia, respectively, topped the list.
Noteworthy that Georgia’s incarceration rate fell by a record 54.8% from 2010 to 2020, the highest reported drop out of all surveyed countries. Meanwhile, the total number of inmates in Georgian prisons amounted to 9,806 by the end of January 2020.
Drug offenses were the leading reason for convictions in Georgia comprising 26.2% of the total, followed by theft (19.6%), homicide and homicide attempts (11.9%), economic/financial offenses (11.0%), robbery (10.6%), and assault and battery (1.8%). Drug-related convictions also continued to be the leading cause of incarceration in the CoE area, comprising 17.7% of all member states’ prison populations.
The total number of admissions into Georgian penal institutions throughout the study period equaled 8,512 inmates, with the admission rate standing at 229 per 100,000 inhabitants, higher than the European median rate of 150.
Georgia also recorded 8,405 exits from penal institutions in the same period, with 8,154 releases and 9 deaths, including one suicide. The Georgian prison mortality rate stood at 0.1%.
With regard to the number of inmates per total custodial staff, Georgia came in as second on the list, with 4.1 inmates per single prison staff, while the European median stood at 1.6.
With 80.5 inmates per 100 available prison spots, in terms of prison density, Georgia ranked below the European median, which equaled 90.3. The summed capacity of all penal institutions in Georgia was 12,185 inmates.
According to the report, 7.4% of inmates in Georgian prisoners by the end of January 2020 were foreigners, while the same statistic stood at 15.4% across the total prison population of the Council of Europe area.
Only 391 women, 4% of the total prison population, have been incarcerated, placing Georgia among CoE members with the lowest proportion of female inmates. As for incarcerated minors, there were 46 male juveniles and none female in Georgia prisons.
Inmates’ average age equaled 44 years, while 15% of inmates were aged 50 and older. Only 146 inmates were aged 65 and older – 1.5% of the prison population.
The plurality of inmates, 30%, served sentences from 5 to 10 years, while only 0.9% were convicted to life imprisonment in Georgia. 10% served a sentence of under a year, 10% served from 10 to 20 years, and only 0.5% served a sentence of 20 years and over.
According to the CoE report, the Georgian prison administration spent EUR 45,498,916 throughout the study period, making the average amount spent on one inmate per day EUR 12.6, falling behind the CoE country median amount of EUR 64.4.