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Institute for Criminal Policy Research Report: Bahrain Has Highest Number of Prisoners in the Middle East

2015-11-20 - 2:48 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): An international statistical report has put the Kingdom of Bahrain in the first rank on the level of the Middle East in terms of the number of prisoners per capita.

The Institute for Criminal Policy Research stated that "there are 301 prisoners per 100,000 of national population based on an estimated national population of 1.34 million," pointing out that "there were 4028 at December 2013, according to a U.S. State Department human rights report."

The institute added that "27.5% of the prisoners are pre-trial detainees, i.e. their trials procedures have not finished yet." "4.7% of the prisoners are females and 2.3% are minors," it further stated.

According to the official statistics, "the official capacity of prisons in the four prisons in Bahrain; the Dry Dock Prison, Jaw Prison, Reform and Rehabilitation Center and Women's prison in Isa Town is , is 816."

Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen, Qatar and Oman follow Bahrain in terms of number of prisoners.

The Institute for Criminal Policy Research has put Bahrain in its latest report issued in September 2014 in the eighth rank on the Arab level in terms of prisoners, as the female prisoners amounted to 189.

The figures presented by the institute reflect the consequences of the political crisis that has erupted in the country since 2011, as the numbers significantly increased with the end of 2013 with 4028 prisoners. This number is three times more than the number before the 2010 incidents, as the number of prisoners was 1100.

Arabic Issue

RankingTitlePrison Population Rate
1 Bahrain 301
2 Israel 256
3 United Arab Emirates 229
4 Saudi Arabia 161
5 Jordan 150
6 Iraq 123
7 Lebanon 120
8 Kuwait 92
9 Syria 60
10 Yemen 53
10 Qatar 53
12 Oman 36




Ministry responsible

Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Prison administration

General Directorate of Reformation and Rehabilitation

Head of prison administration (and title)

(Colonel) Ghazi Saleh Al Sinan

Director General

Prison population total (including pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners)

4 028

at December 2013 (Bahraini government, via U.S. State Department human rights report)

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)


based on an estimated national population of 1.34 million at December 2013 (from United Nations figures)

Pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners (percentage of prison population)


(December 2013)

Female prisoners (percentage of prison population)


(December 2013)

Further Information

Juveniles / minors / young prisoners incl. definition (percentage of prison population)


(2012 - juveniles)

Foreign prisoners (percentage of prison population)


(December 2005)

Number of establishments / institutions


(2014 - Dry Dock detention centre, Jau prison, women's detention centre (Isa Town), reform and rehabilitation centre for women.

Official capacity of prison system



Occupancy level (based on official capacity)



Prison population trend

(year, prison population total, prison population rate)













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