Morocco Has Third Largest Prison Population in the Arab World

By Zainab Calcuttawala,Rabat – Morocco has the third highest prison population rate in the Arab world, according to data published in The World Prison Brief by the London-based Institute for Criminal Policy Research last week.With 222 out of every 100,000 inhabitants in prison, the size of the Moroccan prison population is third only to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, both Gulf countries that incarcerate at a rate of 301 and 229 inhabitants per 100,000, respectively. The report stated that the world prison population rate puts 144 out of every 100,000 people in prison, with Seychelles and the United States topping the international list with 799 and 698 people per 100,000 locked up in the two countries. The Central African Republic and Liechtenstein had the lowest rates, with 16 and 21 out of every 100,000 in prison in the countries.The new data, collected in October 2015, comes at the heels of reports that prisons in Morocco are becoming increasingly crowded and violent.Last November, Delegate General of the Prison Service and Reinsertion, Mohamed Saleh Tamek stood before the Legalization and Justice Committee of the House of Representatives in Rabat to underscore increases in prison violence during 2015.According to the numbers he presented, assaults amongst prisoners and against prison staff doubled between 2014 and 2015. Populations in certain regional prisons have also risen as much as 300 percent. read more