Swiss prisons approach their limits in 2010

The number of prisoners in Swiss jails continued to rise last year, with 6,181 people behind bars on September 1, a year-on-year rise of 97 or 1.6 per cent.

This content was published on January 11, 2011 minutes and agencies

This is the highest figure since 2005 (6,137), with prisons in the western part of the country now at saturation point.

The Federal Statistics Office said the occupancy rate had on average reached 92.5 per cent. In western Switzerland, the rate was 105 per cent, with the situation deteriorating.

It noted that the number of prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants was 80, a decrease on the year 2003 when the number had risen to 83.

The number of foreigners in Swiss jails has remained stable; they represented 72 per cent of the total or 4,428 people in 2010.

The number of women in prisons was 347 or 5.6 per cent of the total. There were 39 minors (0.6 per cent), the lowest since 2000 when 100 were registered.

The figures are based on data collected from 114 prisons around the country.

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