The World Prison Brief (WPB) is a unique database that provides free access to information about prison systems throughout the world. Country information is updated on a monthly basis, using data largely derived from governmental or other official sources. Each country page gives information on:

  • total prison populations, and prison population rates per 100,000 of the national population
  • the use of imprisonment for women, juveniles and foreign nationals
  • the extent of pre-trial/remand imprisonment
  • prison overcrowding, as indicated by occupancy levels
  • news and official reports on prison conditions
  • details of local organisations and other resources
  • department or ministry responsible for prisons, with contact information

The WPB also presents ‘highest to lowest’ country lists, enabling country-by-country and regional comparisons to be made of prison population rates and totals, occupancy rates, and proportions of pre-trial/remand prisoners, female prisoners and foreign prisoners. (Data shown in the highest to lowest lists are the most recent available but not necessarily from the same date. Please click on each individual country to see the date to which the data refer. As it is not possible to obtain meaningful comparative data on numbers of children in custody in different countries, we do not include juvenile imprisonment data in the highest to lowest lists.)

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