The number of inmates at Portuguese prisons increased 22.5% between 2010 and 2015.
According to latest justice board (DGPJ) statistics, 14,222 inmates were doing time in Portuguese jails at the end of 2015, as opposed to the 11,613 that were behind bars in 2010.
In February, Celso Manata from prison services authority (DGRSP) told Antena 1 radio that the growing number of prisoners was a problem, not only because it was overcrowding prisons, but because Portugal’s incarceration rate is “too high” for its small population.
Out of every 100,000 Portuguese, 103 are in jail – a number which he stressed is “above the EU average”.
Further data shows that the majority of inmates are men (13,360) while just 862 are women.
DGPJ also shows nearly half the nation’s prisoners (48.6%) are aged between 25 and 39 – while 37.3% are in their 40s and 50s – and most have not completed secondary school education.