You are on page 1of 6

World Female Imprisonment List

(second edition)
(Women and girls in penal institutions, including pre-trial detainees/remand prisoners)

Roy Walmsley
This second edition of the World Female
Imprisonment List shows the number of women
and girls held in penal institutions, as pre-trial
detainees (remand prisoners) or having been
convicted and sentenced, in 212 prison systems
in independent countries and dependent
territories. It also shows the percentage of
women and girls within each national prison
population. The information is the latest
available on the situation up to the beginning of
2012. In addition this second edition includes,
where available, information about trends in the
female prison population since 2000.
The International Centre for Prison Studies
(ICPS) published in July 2011 the ninth edition
of the World Prison Population List. The
World Female Imprisonment List is a similar
publication focusing specifically on female
imprisonment. Both lists complement the
information which the ICPS already publishes
and updates monthly in the World Prison Brief
section of its website (www.prisonstudies.org).
The World Female Imprisonment List is
compiled, like the World Prison Population
List, from a variety of sources. In almost all
cases the original source is the national prison
administration of the country concerned, or
else the Ministry responsible for the prison
administration. Most of the figures are recent
and efforts are being made to update them
and to obtain information on the number of
female prisoners in the independent countries
and dependent territories for which figures are
not currently available; ICPS will welcome the
assistance of readers of the List in enhancing
its recency and comprehensiveness. Care has
been taken to ensure that the List is as accurate
as possible but ICPS cannot guarantee the
reliability of every figure and readers are also
invited to draw attention to any errors they
notice and, if possible, to supply corrections.
It is hoped that this edition of the World Female
Imprisonment List will be found useful by
policy makers, academic criminologists, nongovernmental organisations, other criminal
justice experts and everyone who is interested
in the extent of female imprisonment.

Key points
CC More than 625,000 women and girls are held in
penal institutions throughout the world, either as
pre-trial detainees (remand prisoners) or having
been convicted and sentenced.
CC Nearly a third of these are in the United States
of America (201,200). The next three countries
in terms of numbers are China (with 84,600
plus women and girls in pre-trial detention
or ‘administrative detention’), the Russian
Federation (59,200), Brazil (35,596) and Thailand
(29,175). The only other countries with more
than 7,000 female prisoners are India (15,406),
Vietnam (12,591 plus women and girls in pre-trial
detention), Mexico (10,072), Ukraine (9,697) and
Philippines (7,726).
CC The female prison population is growing in all
five continents. The total in the 187 countries
whose figures were shown in the first edition of
this List (2006) has increased by more than 16%,
with the largest increase being in the Americas
(up 23%) and the smallest increase in European
countries (up 6%).
CC In about 80% of prison systems female
prisoners constitute between 2 and 9% of the
total prison population. The highest percentage
levels are in Maldives (21.6%), Hong Kong-China
(20%), Bahrain (18.5%), Andorra (16.4% - 10 out
of a total of 61 prisoners), Macau-China (14.8%),
Qatar (14.7%) and Thailand (14.6%).
CC There are continental variations in the prevalence
of women and girls within the total prison
population. The median level is 4.45% but in
African countries female prisoners constitute a
much smaller percentage of the total (the median
is 3.1%) than in Asia where the median level is
almost twice as high (5.95%). The median levels
in the Americas, Europe and Oceania are 5.15%,
4.9% and 3.9% respectively.
CC The prevalence of women and girls within the
total prison population has increased in recent
years, especially in Asia and Europe.

1

8% 2.7% .8% 31.2% 31.10 2 1.10.386 3.7% 2001 2000 2000 2000 2002 289 4.2% 722 1.10 908 1.09 133 4.2.2% 3. Rep. of) Dem.4%* 31.10 1.5% 31.5% 2002 2002 2005 2005 2001 2003 2003 2.4.11.3% 117 1.2% .3% 2006 2005 2007 2005 607 1. Full figures are not available.12.3% 1.8% 12.6% .11 1.7% 31.5% 31.10 2 1.6% Western Africa Benin Burkina Faso Cape Verde Cote d’Ivoire Gambia Ghana Guinea (Rep.5% 3.08 2.9% 31.1% 1.10 224 3.776 3.2% 104 3.4% 50 4.5% 17.2%* 3 2.2% 2006 650 3.2% 573 3.12.3. of Congo Sao Tome e Principe 196 3. Equatorial Guinea.09 * These figures are for the main prison in the capital.5% 1.7%* 83* 3.7% 1.000 4.0% c· 5.1% 3.4.9% 234 3.99 254 1.1% 112 4.03 21* 2.7.11 c· 450 c· 3.06 345 2.07 2002 2001/02 2001 2003 2001 2001 216 2.10.081 4.3% 8.8% 74 1.453 3.925 2.02 6 1.7% 1.213* 4.034 3.7% 31.227 2.361 3.World Female Imprisonment List (second edition) AFRICA Female Percentage prison of total population prison total population Trend information (where available) Date Year Total %age Year Total %age Northern Africa Algeria Egypt Libya Morocco Sudan 984 1.10 156 1.1% 2.11.6%* 2007 206 2.0% 2.1% .4% 210 3.0% 78 2.7% .0% .2% 29 2.6% 66 3.08 79 3.2% 137 5.6% 4 2.5% 2 1.8% 2.1% 2004 2005 306 5.3% 901 3.3% 4.994 2.0% 12.02 62 3.7% 2005 2005 4.1% 2.6% 25 1.5% 5. Somalia .07 34 2.09 c· 3.12. Gabon 2 Western Africa: Guinea Bissau Eastern Africa: Eritrea.486 4.11 256 3.5% 12.09 61 2.12.10 59* 3.03 581 2.5%* mid-02 70* 6. Tunisia Central Africa: Central African Republic.08 112 2.9% 30.10.966 2.10.6% 1.5% 61 2.10 80 2.08 31 2.5% 133 3.10 1.10 c· 250 c· 1.0%* 12.886 3.3% Eastern Africa Burundi Comoros Djibouti Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Rwanda Seychelles Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe Mayotte (France) Reunion (France) 345 3.09 358 2.12.9% 6.6.9.860 c· 6.3% 39* 2.7% 750 4.03 2000 2002 2004 2002 626 1.4% 2006 91 1.6% 347 2.08 c· 200 c· 1.2% 31.07 130* 3.9% 183 3.0%* 2006 2005 2005 2007 2007 183 3.5% 2009/10 2.3% 31.0% 2006 2007 220 3.9% 2006 2008 2008 2005 2006 11 7.0% .4% .10 c· 24 c· 4. of) Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Central Africa Angola Cameroon Chad Congo (Rep. Figures are not available for the following countries: Northern Africa: South Sudan.5% 104 2.12.6% 139 4.072 2.0%* .10 138 5.285 3.10 28 6.10 3.2% 6.0% 2005 2007 2007 257 2.7%* 709 1.6% 19.8% 2000 2002 2001 143 1.0% 10.9% 5.10 2003 2004 2002 51* 4.6% 237 1.060 3.7% 1.4% 28.12.10 38 5.895 3.12.99 236 2.09 2000 2001 c· 140 c· 3.4% 671 3.3% 2005/06 1.10 110 2.6.2% 31.3%* 387 3.10.08 8 3.278 4.09 736 3.515 3.9% 2003 2000 2000 2004 10* 2.3% 1.7% 64* 4.4% 1.11 68 2.7% 12.6% 8.07 3.9% 2.9% 2005 1.760 2.9% Southern Africa Botswana Lesotho Namibia South Africa Swaziland 215 4.12.3% 2005 117 5.11.7% 3.

2.228 6.6% Central America Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama Caribbean Antigua & Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Haiti Jamaica St Kitts & Nevis St Lucia St Vincent & the Grenadines Trinidad & Tobago Anguilla (UK) Aruba (Neth) Cayman Is (UK) Curacao (Neth) Guadeloupe (Fr) Martinique (Fr) Puerto Rico (USA) St Maarten (Neth) Virgin Is.2% .7% .6% .10.4% 2005 c·195.6% South America Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela Fr.12.9% 30.11 16 2.3% 2.1% 682 8.11 2003 7 4.141 6. (USA) 2001 2001 2002 2003 2003 2001 2001 2000 2003 2003 39 4.10 2000 2003 2000 2001 2002 2001 2002 2001 20 2.7% 621 4.8% 2.6% 3.4% 2006 2006 2007 2005 2005 10 2. Guiana/Guyane (Fr) * These figures relate only to convicted prisoners.10.0% 20.11 30 4.2% 7.12.1% 29.09 83 3.6% 21.072 4.6.6% 454 6.5% 28.1% 2008/09 c· 201.07 23 1.07 409 3.264 5.1.5% 11.08 2 2.World Female Imprisonment List (second edition) AMERICAS Female Percentage prison of total population prison total population Trend information (where available) Date Year Total %age Year Total %age North America Canada U.2% .07 11 5.971 5.9% 31.305 10.9% 31.6% 42* 5.2% 1.0% 9 3.4% 20. (UK) Virgin Is.12.0% 39 4.4% 1.0% 365 6.054 7.6% .9% 17.7% 4.10 38 6.485 5.402 5.10 16 3. Bermuda (UK) 1.7% 10.8% 47 3.8% 10.6% 15.4% 31.8% 19.207 4.7% 7.12.10 6 2.4% 3.0% 116 3.4% 2 0.12.6% 5 2.7% 1.1% 10.8% 248 6.6.11 8 1.07 15 2.5% 31.8% 2005 2005 2005 2007 2005 2005 2006 2005 2005 2005 2006 2006 2007 2.0% 159.4% 2007 21 3.4% 8 2.3% 1.230 8.363 7.3% 470 3.11 25 9.917 8.12.1% 31.8% 358 5.10.6% 31.344 11.10 552 2.10 743 6.8% 0 0% 23 10.10 1.1% 20 6.0% 16 8.10 1.2% 2.399 6.4% 7.7% 24 1.08 764 6.626 5.1% 10.1.11 5.07 7 7. Full figures are not available.8% 371 4.11 2.10.3% 2005 6 3.1% 7.4% 615 7.6% .122 6.596 6.5% 54 7.10 311 5.08 2002 2000 2000 2003 2000 2002 2001 2001 2000 2001 2003 2.6% 24 10.6% 4 2.3% c· 215 3.9% 2004/05 513 3.7% 31.9% 2006 17 5.09 14 5. Figures are not available for the following countries: North America: Greenland (Denmark) Caribbean: Cuba 3 .09 3.9% 7.11 1.12.277 6.10 411 3.2% 1.0% 3.0% 913 13.09 714 7.3% 371 7.8% 11 2.11 4.10.255 6.3% 31.140 8.3% 1.393 17.1% 2007 2005 2006 2005 2006 2005 2005 49 4.4% mid-07 5 5.11 35.431 8.12.200 8.S.616 6.07 3 0.719 4.5% 761 6.11 515 7.5% 12.7% 108 2.07 2002/03 2001 2000 1.6.0% 6.6.10.7% 1 0.0% 1.4% 585 4.10.0% 9.5% 2005 2006 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 33 2.9% 6.6.7% 31.02 37 4.4% 9 1.7% 79 4.9% 614 5.A.6% 223 4.12.10 942 6.3% 395 3.10 245 5.1% 2.8% 721 7.0% 7.8% 30.6% 31.4% 10.201 6.5% 34 5.7% 381 5.172 5.10 212 5.3% 12 1.0% 265 4.10 440 8.9.8% 433 5.10 56 8.9%* 936 5.06 18 2.112 4.259 8.11 9 2.1% 12.10 10.10.

06 2003 2003 678* 4.591* 11.807 3.8% 1.3% .5% 1.1% 30.02 81 14.12 118 1.10 3.130 3.034 19.6%* .0% 31.254 4.8% 31.7% 2000 2001 2001 2000 2000 2003 1.3% 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 77.08 497 2.589 5.322 6.790 3.4% 2005 2005 2005 37 7.7% mid-09 7.1. Full figures are not available.4% 2.12.328 1.6%* mid-10 2000 2000 2000 22 6.8% 7.10 1.11 2000 2000 2000 2001 2001 2000 47.839 6.5% 308 4.544 6.6% mid-10 4 1.8% mid-10 421 10.4% 511 4.5% mid-04 2.7.12.5% 319* 16.3%** 10.452 17.8% 2000 2002 2001 2002 2003 2000 9.6% 31.0% 67 11.6%* 263 1.1% 3.11 298 3.289 20.10 1.1% 2.0% 1.4%* 84.4% 1 0.4% 906 3.089 3.406 4.3.990* 12.375 5.09 55 4.04 415 1.5% 1.2% 82 9.899 5.876 5.126 8.3% 1. of) Mongolia Hong Kong (China) Macau (China) Taiwan * These figures relate only to convicted prisoners.1% mid-10 1.06 170 1.11 201 4.5% .09 2002 183 1.5% .12.8% 19.6% .10 141 14.9% 4.1.916 16.10 931 1.8% 2005 2005 2005 215 2.986 3.5% 2006 2007 2005 360 6.08 185 3.639 5.7% 2005 2006 2006 2.12.997 20.12.351 12.8% . ** This is the percentage of prisoners newly admitted during the month.1%* mid-10 5.3% c· 5.100 2.9%* 4.518 1.2% Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan South Central Asia Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan India Iran Maldives Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka South Eastern Asia Brunei Darussalam Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand Timor-Leste Vietnam Eastern Asia China Japan Korea (Rep.7% .840 3.5% 31.249 11.8% 37 9.443 10.0% 7.5% 353 2.9.9% c· 5.6% 1.2% .2% 31.6.7% 566 3.2% 35.2% 2005 10.1% 4.11 15. Full figures are not available.249 9.100* 3.305 7.5% 500 6.0% 64 7.7% 31.2% 185 2.8% .8% 6.8%* 218* 8.803 17.8% 227 3.3%* 1.12.076 7.09 12.279* 4.10 29.7% mid-10 2003 1.10 6.8% 2007 265 2.1.3% 2005 2007 2005 2005 2005 2.2% 31.12.World Female Imprisonment List (second edition) ASIA Female Percentage prison of total population prison total population Trend information (where available) Date Year Total %age Year Total %age Western Asia Bahrain Iraq Israel Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Yemen 130 18.8% mid-10 856 6.726 8.1% 11.04 737 6.8% 2006 184 1.6% 486* 9.12.0% 28.175 14.12.951 4.570 6.08 1.7% 31.4% 1.507 9.3%* 3.10 280 5.3% 31.11 10.9% 2005 2006 13.600* 5.1% .246 4.6% 288 5.8% 662 3.656 4.4% 2.02 1.08 1.9% 15.0% 18.09 c· 5.5% 700 4.3% 101 5.6% 2006 233 3.910 2.324 5.8.1% 31.649 11.1% mid-10 2.08 38 3.5% 9.8% 1.10 430 6.754 15.222 7.12.8%* 1.2% 1. Figures are not available for the following countries: Western Asia: Syria Central Asia: Uzbekistan Eastern Asia: Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea 4 .9% 2002 2000 2000 2000 2003 2003 358 4.302 5.10 243* 21.6% mid-10 6.6% 1.

7.09 324 3.368 6.7% 2.6% 30.12.9.9.09 50 3.6% 31.8% 26.5% 358 4. the Americas and Oceania 5 .12.2% 1.11 449 5.11 228 7.9% 263 3.11 209 5.460 7.09 2.3% 11 3.7% 4.11 1.4% 1.9.2% 32 2.9% 2.350 5.9% 27.9.8% 3.727 5.1% 1.12.9.117 6.5% 332 4.08 696 5.9% 40 3.5% 3.11 39 5.9.11 5.2% 4.098 7.0% 391 4.07 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2002 3.11 44 2.World Female Imprisonment List (second edition) EUROPE Female Percentage prison of total population prison total population Trend information (where available) Date Year Total %age Year Total %age Northern Europe Denmark Estonia Finland Iceland Ireland Latvia Lithuania Norway Sweden UK: England & Wales UK: Northern Ireland UK: Scotland Faeroes (Denmark) Guernsey (UK) Isle of Man (UK) Jersey (UK) 179 4.12.8% 383 6.1% 0 0.4% 23 2.744 7.6% 31.8% 24 2.0% 274 2.1.06 298 3.3% 33 2.808 4.4% 31.5% 1.3% 155 5.4% 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2006 2005 2006 184 4.467 5.0% 4 3.5% 373 3.1% 31.11 390 5.2% 1.09 731 6.12.10 474 5.10 39 2.11 2000 2000 2000 2000 2002 2000 2003 2000 2000 421 6.1.8% 2.12.7% 1.7% 1.11 2 3. Srpska Croatia Cyprus Greece Italy Kosovo Macedonia Malta Montenegro Portugal San Marino Serbia Slovenia Spain Gibraltar (UK) Western Europe Austria Belgium France* Germany Liechtenstein Luxembourg Monaco Netherlands Switzerland Central & Eastern Europe Belarus Bulgaria Czech Republic Hungary Moldova Poland Romania Slovakia Ukraine * Metropolitan France.6% 11.1% 3 10.7% 1 2.12.11 1.5% 31.09 554 4.1% 17 2.6% 140 4.0% 147 5.0% 66 3.9% 1.7% 3.11 0 0% avrge 10 16 13.3% 16 9.833 3.11 0 0.8.3.6% 1.12.6% 1.11 2 8.10.9.2% 142 5.6% 1.11 324 5.09 1.0% 48 4.9.216 9.6% 1.5.09 9.3% 31.4% 1.8% 31.10 418 6.11 419 4.2% 4.12.274 4.12.1% Southern Europe Albania Andorra Bosnia & Herz – Federation Bosnia & Herz – Rep.515 4.2% 23 2.8% 1.0% 20 5.6% 31.0% 875 6.1.7% 1.2% 4.145 3.7% 14 4.9.9.10 2.10 20 1.11.033 6.037 5.11 157 3.09 17 1.09 42 7.7% 263 3.1.3% 387 4.11 35 2.0% 18 3.9% 421 4.3% 7 10.4% 3.4% 31.9% 32 2.5% 212 4.8% 0 0.11 21 12.060 4.0% 368 5.0% 203 4.668 8.9% 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2006 3.2% 1.5% 976 6.0% 231 3.09 36 5.7% 31.5.7% 14 10.4% 0 0.4% 411 5.3% 7.12.0% 1.7% 74 3.6% 11 21.6% 30.4% 0 0.0% 1.5.3% 10.11 421 4.6% 585 6.2% 445 4.2% 31.931 4.3.09 2002 2001 2001 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2002 2002 2000 2002 2000 2000 2000 2001 4 7.7% 1 3.8% 960 6.376 7.729 2.696 4.3% 3 3.2% 2.9.0% 1.0% 904 4.11 236 4.9.0% 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2006 2005 2005 442 5.11 4.12.1% 123 2.0% 1.2% 203 3.1% 30.359 2.1% 1.8% 1.8% 1.10 63 2.411 3.9% 31.8% 1.6% 31.1% 358 4.6% 30.843 4.0% 116 1.9% 968 4.6% 399 4.2% 7 5.1.5% 1.2% 1.11 8 5.12.12.6% 30.0% 259 3.3% 40 2.6% 25.11 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2001 2000 2001 164 5.9% 102 3.10 2.5% 1.7% 31.538 6.12.6% 288 5.1.1% 14 4.697 6.085 6.9.7% 84 2.12.4% 1.9% 0 0.529 3.5% 2 3.9.11 3.3% 332 5.1% 3. not including departments and territories in Africa.4.6.11 197 5.7% avrge 10 421 6.8% 28.8% 241 6.869 5.0% 32 4.9% 18 2.9.09 10 16.0% 0 0.1% 1.7% 644 5.8% 16 1.4% 594 6.11 0 0.12.0% 2005 2006 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2004 2005 2006 2006 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2006 92 2.0% 2 3.11 5 4.0% 1.235 4.

10 2* 3. (NZ) French Polynesia (Fr) Guam (USA) New Caledonia (Fr) Trend information (where available) Date 2.3% 12 4.11 4 5.5% 219 2.4% 2 4.9% 101 3.12.8% 1.4% 31.4% 1 1.09 433 2. 2011) and the World Pre-trial/Remand Imprisonment List (1st edition 2008). via United Nations surveys.6.8% 1.ac.7% 2005 31 6.12.10 17 7. State Department human rights reports. which is available free of charge at www.essex.0% 31.4% 31.1.org 1 New Street Square London EC4A 3BF Email admin@icps.11 32 2.07 1 0. At ICPS he is director of the World Prison Brief.3% OCEANIA Female Percentage prison of total population prison total population Australia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Is. Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu American Samoa (USA) Cook Is.11 Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia Russian Federation Turkey 2002 2002 2000 2002 2000 123 2.1% 1 4.World Female Imprisonment List (second edition) EUROPE (continued) Female Percentage prison of total population prison total population Trend information (where available) Date Year Total %age Year Total %age Europe/Asia 159 4.4% 31. Figures are not available for the following country: Oceania: Northern Mariana Is.2% * Figures are not available for one of the four federated states (Chuuk).prisonstudies.400 6. Some were obtained indirectly.1% 14 8.8% 341 1. via surveys for the annual meetings of the Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators.11 59.8% 2.12.1% 1 1. complement the World Prison Brief and were both published by ICPS.10.0% 31. University of Essex.10 1 5.7% 1.9% 8. States of Micronesia Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Is.4% 17 1. a comprehensive database of information on the prison systems of the world.10.802 3.9.8%* 31. via the Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics (SPACE) and via U.9% mid-10 4 3. via national statistical offices.11.028 7.9.9% 58.0% 1.530 3.0% 1.12.385 6.1% 1 1.215 5.7% 7 5.8% 266 4.07 0 0% 21.5% 0 0% 3 3.8% 23 2.10 0 0% 10.1% 1.6% 53.7% 7 6.6% 201 5.0% 1 3.6% 2005 2006 2005 2006 2005 82 2.5% 0 0% 6 4.10 7 4. via the Ministry responsible for prisons.prisonstudies. (USA) Sources  The figures in the above tables originate almost always from the national prison administrations. like this document.5% 2 0.09 9 2.3% 20 9.11.2% 274 1.3.6% 9.S.2% 31.6% 30.07 Year Total %age 2000 2000 2000 2000 2003 2001 2000 2000 2000 2002 2000 2003 2003 1.0% 30.12.3% .07 21 4.683 5. Fed.9% 283 2.09 1.10 499 5.11 12 3.10 0 0% 12. Roy Walmsley is a consultant to the United Nations and an Associate of the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS).734 6.10 3 1.0% 11 4.org He also produces the World Prison Population List (9th edition.591 3.12 4.9% 31.12.uk 6 . which.200 7.1% 4 1.10 26 11.10 230 5.3% Year Total %age 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 1.11.1% 8 8.1% . International Centre for Prison Studies Tel: 00 44 (0) 20 7842 8505 1st Floor The Merchant Centre Website www.1% 18.12.12.7% 0 0% 0 0% 435 6.