Ucha Nanuashvili, Public Defender of Georgia, was presenting his report of 2012 at the plenary session of the Parliament held on 30 July 2013 and therewith stated: “Reports of international organizations show that over the years Georgia has been taking the first place in Europe by number of prisoners. We also were number one by mortality rates among inmates.”FactCheck
inquired whether or not Georgia had been a leading country in Europe with high rates of incarceration and mortality among prisoners.
According to the public information requested from the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia, numbers of accused/convicted in 2006 - 2012 years are as shown below:According to the international practice number of prisoners in the countries is calculated per 100 000 population. According to the data
acquired from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), incarceration rates of European countries in the period between 2006 and 2011 are as follows:
As we can see from the table Georgia topped the list of countries by its rates of incarceration in 2009 and 2010 years. Although the table does not show the data from 2011 for Georgia, number of prisoners has increased in 2011 as compared to 2010. The number of inmates in 2010 was 23 684, while in 2011 it amounted to 24 114 according to the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance. Taking into account this and the statistics of other countries in 2011, it is obvious that also in 2011 Georgia was first by number of prisoners. Therefore, we establish that Georgia has indeed been leading in Europe by its rates of incarceration in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.As for the mortality rates, Council of Europe calculates it based on the number of deaths per 10 000 inmates. FactCheck
requested public information from the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia, from which we learn that mortality rates in penitentiary institutions are as follows: the year 2010 - 144 accused/convicted, the year 2011 - 140 accused/convicted, the year 2012 - 67 accused/convicted. It is to be noted that the ministry was not collecting data regarding the mortality rates of the inmates prior to 2010. Earlier data can be found in the special report of the public defender - Monitoring of Penitentiary Establishments and Temporary Detention Isolators for the first quarter of 2011, according to which, in 2008 90 accused/convicted have died in penitentiary institutions while in 2009 – 91.
As for the European countries, latest data on mortality rates among prisoners can be found for 2010, as the data for every specific year is published only three years later.
It becomes evident from the table shown above, that by mortality rates Serbia has been leading in 2008 and 2009, while Georgia surpassed it only in 2010. As mentioned above, data from 2011 and 2012 is not available yet, hence dynamics of last two years cannot be examined.
The Public Defender justly claims that Georgia has been occupying the first place in Europe by its rates of incarceration. Official statistical data confirms this fact. Nevertheless, based on mortality rates, Georgia is surpassed by Serbia in 2008 and 2009. Georgia has been taking the first place by this indicator only in 2010.Based on the aforementioned facts and comparative analysis, we conclude that Ucha Nanuashvili’s statement: "Reports of international organizations show that over the years Georgia has been taking the first place in Europe by number of prisoners. We also had the first position by mortality rates among inmates,” is MOSTLY TRUE.