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probation in Europe
Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Probation in Europe

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All the latest facts and figures on probation in Europe

Last week (20 May 2019), the Council for Penological Cooperation of the Council of Europe updated its report on “Persons under the supervision of Probation Agencies”.

Here are ten facts I found of interest.

1: During  2017, 2,225,913 persons entered into supervision by European probation services, and 1,400,788 left that supervision.

2: On 31st January 2018, there were 1,764,043 persons under the supervision of the probation services of the responding countries. This represents an average rate of 202 probationers per 100,000 inhabitants.

3: On average just 10.6% of people on probation are women.

4: The average probation caseload is 50.

5: The country with the highest proportion of its population in prison and on probation is Russia. Scotland is in a disappointing third place.

6. In 15 European countries, probation is under the authority of the prison service.

7. In 16 European countries, people can be supervised by probation as an alternative to being remanded in custody. In Turkey, 223,711 were under this form of supervision in 2017.

8. Most European countries do not have a separate youth justice service for community supervision. 

9. In England and Wales in 2017, 189,922 people “exited” probation supervision. 126,334 completed supervision, 10,866 had their orders revoked, 16,344 were imprisoned for breaching their order, 4,120 “absconded” from probation and 1,225 died (there were 31,033 in the “other” category).

10. In England and Wales 65 out of every 10,000 people on probation died while under supervision The highest comparable figure was Sweden with  141 per 10,000 while the lowest was Spain with 32 per 10,000. 

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