The Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics on Persons under the Supervision of Probation Agencies (known as „SPACE II“) has been published. The document provides data on non-custodial sanctions and measures in 48 out of 51 probation agencies in the 46 Council of Europe´s Member States.

On 31 January 2022, there were 1 349 220 probationers across Europe under the supervision of 31 probation agencies. The median probation population rate grew from 155 to 161 probationers per 100 000 inhabitants. Compared to 2021, the total number of probationers increased by 4,6% in 2022. The reasons behind this can be explained by changes involving the European criminal justice system and as a result of the end of the Covid-19 pandemic which affected the criminal activity and functioning of the criminal justice systems in 2020 and 2021.

Comparing 2022 to 2021, in 26 jurisdictions (out of 39 probation agencies providing data on their probation population) probation agencies registered an increase in their overall rate of probationers, cases or orders. An increase of 5% or more was registered in 21 probation agencies while 5 experienced a decrease of 5% or more. In 13 probation agencies, the situation remained stable.

The probation population rate is higher than the prison population rate in 36 out of 41 probation agencies and prison services. The highest ratio of probationers per inmate can be found in Belgium with 591 probationers per 100 inmates, the lowest in Montenegro with 11 probationers per 100 inmates.

The median percentage of men in probation is 89% compared to 11% of women. To compare, the percentage of women in prison is nearly 5%. The higher percentage of women in probation can be explained by the types of offences (less serious not leading to a prison sentence) and by the fact that women as primary caregivers of minor children are placed on probation or granted conditional release more often than men.

The median percentage of foreign probationers in the probation population is 5,8% compared to nearly 16% of foreign inmates in the prison population. Most of the foreign probationers are placed on probation in Western and Central Europe.

The report including key findings can be downloaded here:

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