Prisons: 76,258 prisoners in France as of February 1, a new overcrowding record

The number of prisoners in France reached a new record on February 1, with 76,258 people incarcerated, 3,964 more than the previous month and an increase of 5

Prisons: 76,258 prisoners in France as of February 1, a new overcrowding record

The number of prisoners in France reached a new record on February 1, with 76,258 people incarcerated, 3,964 more than the previous month and an increase of 5.5% in one year, according to figures published Thursday February 29 by the Ministry of Justice. This is the highest number of prisoners ever recorded, according to prison administration statistics.

As of February 1, French prisons had 61,737 operational places. The overall prison density stands at 123.5%. In remand centers, where detainees awaiting trial, therefore presumed innocent, and those sentenced to short sentences are incarcerated, the occupancy rate is 147.7%. It reaches or even exceeds 200% in 16 establishments or districts.

Due to this overcrowding, 3,059 detainees are forced to sleep on a mattress on the floor, 50.2% more than a year ago. Among those incarcerated, 20,254 are defendants, incarcerated while awaiting trial.

Some 15,000 new places planned by 2027

In total, 92,641 people were detained as of February 1. Among them, there are 16,383 non-detainees placed under an electronic bracelet or placed outside.

Note: an annual increase of 21.6% in the number of convicts in external placement housed, that is to say who are serving their sentence in an open environment, outside a penitentiary establishment, within a framework defined by the judge – there were 203 on February 1.

Faced with this chronic prison overcrowding, which earned France a new condemnation from the European Court of Human Rights in July, the government is counting on the construction of 15,000 new prison places by 2027.