As of February 1st, 2019, there were 70,652 inmates for 60,882 operational places, up from January but not reaching the 2018 record.
Without reaching the record of more than 71,000 prisoners in French prisons in 2018, the number of prisoners increased again in January, to reach 70,652 on February 1, according to the figures of the prison administration consulted Sunday by AFP.
As of 1 February 2019, there were 70,652 detainees for 60,882 operative places , compared to 70,059 on 1st January and 71,061 on 1st December.
Prison density in the 188 penitentiary establishments was 116% , essentially the same as the previous month (116.5%).
More than 200% density in some prisons
It reaches 135.8% in remand prisons, which accommodate short sentences or people awaiting trial. In some, like Béthune or Nîmes , it exceeds 200%. In Ile-de-France, the average starts to fall, especially Fresnes (182% against 197% the previous month) due to the reopening of the prison of health.
The number of mattresses on the ground is 1389 in January, as in December.
The very symbolic bar of the 70,000 prisoners in France was crossed in April 2018. The number of prisoners has never fallen below this threshold, even in the summer, when judicial activity is traditionally slowed down and the number of placements in detention less.
7,000 prison places created by 2022
To combat this chronic overpopulation, the government has announced the creation of 7,000 places of imprisonment by the end of the five-year period, along with a redefinition of the scale of sentences.
The justice reform adopted in mid-February provides for the prohibition of imprisonment for very short sentences, while guaranteeing the application of prison sentences of more than one year and multiplying alternatives in an open environment. This text has not yet entered into force, having been submitted to the Constitutional Council.
As in previous months, almost one-third of the incarcerated (20,776) are remand prisoners while awaiting trial.
The share of women (3.6% of the total prison population) and that of minors (1%) remain stable.
A total of 82,206 people were placed under detention, 11,554 of whom were placed under electronic surveillance or an outward placement, with slightly higher figures.