The World Prison Brief Online (WPB) was launched on 28 September 2000 using data specially compiled for ICPS by Roy Walmsley, Director of the WPB.
The WPB is a data-base which provides factual information about prison systems throughout the world. It thus enables more evidence-based discussion of ways to improve prison systems in accordance with international human rights standards.
Information is provided on prison populations and prison population rates per 100,000 of the national population, on the use of imprisonment for women and juveniles, on the extent of pre-trial imprisonment and on prison overcrowding, as well as a record of the national ministries responsible for prisons and contact details for prison administrations.
Information is updated on a monthly basis using data from reputable sources.
The World Prison Brief also presents lists, from the country with the highest rate to the country with the lowest rate, in respect of prison population rates, prison population totals, occupancy rates, pre-trial/remand prisoners, female prisoners and foreign prisoners. The last three lists show the number of such prisoners as a percentage of the prison population total. These 'highest to lowest' lists are available both for the entire world and for individual continents.
We aim to make the World Prison Brief progressively more comprehensive and useful and we always welcome new or updated information from reliable sources.