World Prison Brief

Institute for Criminal Policy Research

Germany

CountryGermany
Ministry responsible
State (Land) Ministries of Justice
Prison administration
Prison administrations of the 16 states (Laender)
Prison population total (including pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners)
64 397
at 31.3.2016 (Federal Statistical Office)
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
78
based on an estimated national population of 82.5 million at end of March 2016 (from Federal Statistical Office figures)
Pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners (percentage of prison population)
20.8%
(31.3.2016)
Female prisoners (percentage of prison population)
5.9%
(31.3.2016)
Juveniles / minors / young prisoners incl. definition (percentage of prison population)
3.0%
(of pre-trial prisoners only, 31.3.2016 - under 18)
Foreign prisoners (percentage of prison population)
27.1%
(31.3.2011)
Number of establishments / institutions
183
(March 2016)
Official capacity of prison system
73 471
(31.3.2016)
Occupancy level (based on official capacity)
87.6%
(31.3.2016)
Prison population trend
(year, prison population total, prison population rate)
2000 70,252 85
2002 70,977 86
2004 79,452 96
2006 76,629 93
2008 72,259 88
2010 69,385 85
2012 65,889 82
2014 61,872 76
2015 64,397 78
2000 70,252 85
2002 70,977 86
2004 79,452 96
2006 76,629 93
2008 72,259 88
2010 69,385 85
2012 65,889 82
2014 61,872 76
2015 64,397 78

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Sentencing and Prison Practices in Germany and the Netherlands: Implications for the United States

Report
01/11/2013
Author: 
Vera Institute of Justice

Germany and the Netherlands have significantly lower incarceration rates than the United States and make much greater use of non-custodial penalties, particularly for nonviolent crimes. In addition, conditions and practices within correctional facilities in these countries—grounded in the principle of “normalization” whereby life in prison is to resemble as much as possible life in the community—also differ markedly from the U.S.

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Pre-trial/remand prison population: trend

The table below gives an indication of the recent trend in the pre-trial/remand prison population. The final row shows the latest figures available.

It consists of the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners in the prison population on a single date in the year (or the annual average) and the percentage of the total prison population that pre-trial/remand prisoners constituted on that day.  

The final column shows the pre-trial/remand population rate per 100,000 of the national population. 

                                                     GERMANY

Year

Number in
pre-trial/remand
imprisonment

Percentage
of total
prison population

Pre-trial/remand
population rate
(per 100,000 of
national population)

2000
2005
2010

18,201
15,459
10,941

22.9%
19.2%
15.2%

22
19
13

2016

13,389

20.8%

16

It should be noted that the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners fluctuates from day to day, month to month and year to year. Consequently the above figures give an indication of the trend but the picture is inevitably incomplete.                                                      

The pre-trial/remand population rate is calculated on the basis of the national population total. All national population figures are inevitably estimates but the estimates used in the World Prison Brief are based on official national figures, United Nations figures or figures from other recognised international authorities. 

Female prison population: trend

The table below gives an indication of the trend in the female prison population. The final row shows the latest figures available.

It consists of the number of female prisoners in the prison population on a single date in the year (or the annual average) and the percentage of the total prison population that female prisoners constituted on that day. 

The final column shows the female prison population rate per 100,000 of the national population.

                                                  GERMANY

Year

Number of
female
prisoners

Percentage
of total
prison population

Female prison
population rate
(per 100,000 of
national population)

2000
2005
2010

3,515
4,037
3,727

4.4%
5.0%
5.2%

4.3
4.9
4.6

2016

3,769

5.9%

4.6

The number of female prisoners fluctuates and so the above figures give an indication of the trend but the picture is inevitably incomplete.  

The female prison population rate is calculated on the basis of the national population total. All national population figures are inevitably estimates but the estimates used in the World Prison Brief are based on official national figures, United Nations figures or figures from other recognised international authorities.

(If the rate were calculated on the basis of the number of females in the national population it would of course be approximately double the figure in the final column).

Prison population total
Prison population rate