Ministry responsible
Ministry of Justice - but detention facilities are also operated by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (juvenile detention facilities) and the Kurdish Regional Government
Prison administration
Iraqi Correctional Service (Ministry of Justice)
Head of prison administration (and title)
Raad Ali Muhammad
Director General
Prison population total (including pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners)
45 000
at mid-2015 (U.N. Human Rights Committee expert)
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
based on an estimated national population of 35.77 million at mid-2015 (from United Nations figures)
Pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners (percentage of prison population)
Female prisoners (percentage of prison population)
Juveniles / minors / young prisoners incl. definition (percentage of prison population)
(2014 - juveniles)
Number of establishments / institutions
The ICS (Ministry of Justice) operated 9 prisons and 7 pre-trial detention facilities at the end of 2007, and the Kurdish regional authorities operated 7. The Ministry of Defence operated 17 holding areas or detention facilities in Baghdad and at least another 13 nationwide for detainees captured during military raids and operations. The number of Ministry of the Interior facilities at the end of 2007 was unknown but, including police station holding facilities, official Ministry of the Interior detention locations were estimated to number over 1,000 facilities. Additionally, there were reports of unofficial detention centres throughout the country (US State Department Human Rights Report).
Official capacity of prison system
29 303
(31.12.2013 - capacity of Iraqi Correctional Service facilities)
Occupancy level (based on official capacity)
(31.12.2013 - occupancy of Iraqi Correctional Service facilities)
Prison population trend
(year, prison population total, prison population rate)
2004 c 7,000 c 26
2006 16,308 57
2008 28,956 97
2010 39,130 125
2012 45,172 136
2004 c 7,000 c 26
2006 16,308 57
2008 28,956 97
2010 39,130 125
2012 45,172 136


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.



Number of

of total
prison population

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









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