Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

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Portugal prison population ageing and has more inmates than EU average

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 05-10-2017 12:34:00 · 1 Comments

Portugal has 140 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants and the average age of the prison population is on the rise, now standing at 39.7 years, according to a report on the Portuguese prison system published on Monday by the Ministry of Justice.

Portugal prison population ageing and has more inmates than EU average

“The age pyramid of the prison population has shown signs of ageing over the course of time and in the image of the population in general,” said the Report on the Prison and Guardianship System entitled, “Looking to the future to guide current actions/A multi-annual strategy for requalification and modernisation of the system for the execution of sentences and juvenile educational measures 2017/2027.”
According to the report, the prison system has recently taken in almost 14,000 inmates, which translates into a higher rate of imprisonment than the European average of 116 inmates per 100,000.
The average age of the prison population (39.7 years) is the same as the average age of the general population (between 40 and 44 years of age), with the proportion of inmates aged under 20 always being lower than those over 60.
The relative weight of those between the ages of 21 and 29 has also been markedly lower than those between the ages of 40 and 59, according to the report’s data.
The prison population has low levels of academic qualification as more than half of the prisoners (56.6 percent) did not start secondary education.
The report noted that 7.6 percent of the prison population is illiterate and 26 percent only attended primary school.
Most of the prison population (84.6 percent) have been sentenced with the remainder on remand before going to trial and over half of the sentenced inmates are doing sentences of between three and nine years.
The report noted that many prisoners are in facilities located outside their geographical area of residence or their household, a situation that is worse for women prisoners, with the exception of the districts of Lisbon and Porto.
This reveals the lack of installed capacity in certain areas of the country, the report noted.
The report reveals that some prisons have very poor living conditions and most have no indvidual accommodation, in line with current international standards.
“Several establishments are small, and it is not possible to start expansion programmes at them, due to lack of space to grow,” the report said.
Another of the conclusions of the report is that the prison system is facing “continued disinvestment” in security equipment (cars, CCTV, metal detector gates, x-rays and other security equipment) and in human resources and materials to meet current needs.
The report also stresses the importance of ensuring the sustainability of structured rehabilitation and reintegration responses for prisoners, in particular by increasing the number of accused and convicted prisoners in specific rehabilitation programmes.
Another priority is the need to give prisoners the opportunity to work during their sentence, allowing them to maintain “working habits and (...) daily routines.”

Comments

So the prison population is on the rise? So what's the problem? That means the law enforcement and the judicial system are doing their job. Maybe that's why Portugal has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. Not a bad thing at all.
by Tony B from USA on 06-10-2017 07:43:00

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Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter