Global Prison Trends 2020

Over 11 million people are held in prisons worldwide. In which conditions?

Penal Reform International (PRI) and Thailand Institute of Justice co-published the Global Prison Trends 2020, an annual report providing a global account of the state of prisons and the use of imprisonment. An online seminar marked the launch of the report, with a panel of criminal justice and human rights practitioners from both organisations, as well as from the World Health Organisation (Europe), the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and Justice Project Pakistan.

Over 11 million people are held in prisons worldwide. Many face substandard detention conditions. Sentences keep getting longer, in underfunded justice systems.

The number of people serving life sentences increased by 84% from 2000 to 2014

Niger is reported to have 60 % of the prison population awaiting trial


Penal Reform International


The organisation, founded in 1989, works globally to promote criminal justice systems that uphold human rights for all and do no harm. They work to make criminal justice systems non-discriminatory and protect the rights of disadvantaged people. They run practical human rights programmes and support reforms that make criminal justice fair and effective. It publishes annually its Global Prison Trends.