10 December 2012

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The 5 Countries with the Lowest Prison Populations (Per Capita) in the World

Many people know that the U.S. prison population is massive compared to that of other countries. In fact, the U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world with more than 20 times as many prisoners per capita as the countries with the lowest prison populations. The lowest prison populations are usually found in developing countries, although there are some in small, wealthier countries.


Many people know that the U.S. prison population is massive compared to that of other countries. In fact, the U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world with more than 20 times as many prisoners per capita as the countries with the lowest prison populations. The lowest prison populations are usually found in developing countries, although there are some in small, wealthier countries.





Comoros

The country of Comoros is made up of a set of small islands in the Indian Ocean. It has the third-smallest population of any African country and an imprisonment rate of approximately 19 people for every 100,000. The population of the entire country is approximately 798,000 people and in 2010 there were about 130 prisoners being held. Approximately half of these were pre-trial prisoners. Unlike the situation in the jails of most developing countries, a U.S. State Department Human Rights report on the prison condition in Comoros indicated it was not yet at capacity and that capacity was probably around 150 prisoners.

Central African Republic

The CAR is a landlocked country in Central Africa with a population of approximately 4.42 million people. Despite having several times the population of Comoros, the CAR maintains a prison population with approximately the same number of prisoners per capita. CAR's 56 prison facilities held a total of 845 prisoners in November 2011. At the two facilities that hold 65 percent of the total incarcerated population, approximately 70 percent of prisoners were pre-trial. The capacity of the CAR's prison system is not taxed with an official maximum of 6,000 people.

Timor-Leste

Formerly known as East Timor, this Southeast Asian island country has a population of approximately 1.07 million. It maintains a prison population of approximately 260 people, making the country's prison rate per 100,000 people approximately 22. There are 2 prisons in Timor-Leste's holding system and approximately 43 percent of the prisoners held in them are pre-trial. The prison system is well below capacity, holding approximately 62 percent of the 420 person maximum holding capacity in 2011.

Burkina-Faso

Burkina-Faso is a landlocked west African country with a total population of around 15.7 million. It has a prisoner rate of 28 per 100,000 which amounted to 4,837 prisoners in December of 2011. Of these prisoners, approximately 48 percent were being held before their trials. Despite having 21 facilities, the Burkina-Faso prison system was at 158 percent of its capacity in 2009. As is commonly the case in poor, developing countries, the 4,837 prisoners being held in Burkina-Faso jails were confined to facilities that have an official capacity of 2,660 people.

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a small, landlocked country in central Europe and entirely within the Alps. Its approximately 36,000 citizens are some of the richest per capita in the world. Prisoners sentenced to more than 2 years are held in Austrian prisons, so Liechtenstein's single facility held a mere 11 prisoners in 2011. 50 percent of these were being held pre-trial and approximately 72 percent of them were foreigners to the country. The prison is at approximately 55 percent capacity with the ability to hold a mere 20 prisoners.
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About Today's Guest Writer:

Darwin Green has written and contributed to many articles about criminal justice such as How To Become A Probation Officer.

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