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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Snapshot of prisoner numbers in Spain

The number of prisoners in Spanish jails is an illuminating indicator of the types of criminals detected in the peninsula.
Police handcuffs - Wikipedia commons

According to the Interior Ministry’s annual report, the numbers incarcerated has fallen in the past five years by 22 percent. There were 76,079 in 2009 and in 2013 there were 66,765. Why this has happened is a moot point, perhaps: either people are more law-abiding, or they aren’t being caught or the judges are more lenient!

One in three prisoners in Spanish jails is a foreigner, a quarter of them from Morocco (5,773), followed in this nefarious league table by individuals from Romania (2,275), Colombia (2,257) and Ecuador (1,555) out of a total number of thirty countries being represented behind bars.

Some 3,707 people are in prison for homicide or murder, of which 255 are women. The number serving time for crimes against sexual freedom are 3,087 and for domestic violence there are 3,937.

Those jailed for terrorism amount to 494 people (61 of them women) and of these 41 belonged to ETA and 42 were allied to Islamic terrorist organisations.

Andalusia houses the most prisoners (15,190), with Cataluna imprisoning 9,797 and Madrid 8,916.
While all crime is of concern, because there are always victims, some crimes highlighted here seem particularly worrying - the murders and the terrorist elements in particular.
Domestic violence has risen in recent years - again, this could be as a result of a change in the reporting of the incidents, the success of the prosecution or more public awareness.
Crimes against sexual freedom can be construed as child sexual abuse, adolescent and dependent individual sexual abuse, homosexual actions with minors and prostitution of minors. Recent reports in the news (Rotherham, UK) suggest that this appalling type of offence is more prevalent than thought.

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