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I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 16 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation. Any gift you can make today will be matched by other donors and go twice as far.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

Section IV: Global Comparisons

Crime and incarceration around the world:

Finland: Crime control & decarceration

  • Approximate number of years Finland did not have the highest incarceration rate in Scandinavia, 1886-1993595: 1
  • Incarceration rate in Finland per 100,000 population, 1918596: 250
  • Approximate Finish incarceration rate per 100,000 population, 1920-1950597: 200
  • Number of years between 1975 and 1998 where the Finnish prison population rate per 100,000 population rose598: 0
  • Number of prisoners in Finland599: 2,700
  • Current Finnish incarceration rate per 100,000 population600: 52
  • Of the four Scandinavian countries, current rank, of Finland's incarceration rate601: 4
  • Number of guns owned by the Hameenilla penitentiary602: 10
  • Percent of penitentiary's guns locked in the warden's safe603: 100%
  • Number of military-style uniforms in the Finnish prisons604: 0
  • In polls measuring what national institutions are admired the most, rank given to the Finnish police605: 1
  • Percent of other European countries with a larger police force per capita than Finland606: 100%
  • Percent of Finns who were a victim of a crime in 1999607: 19%
  • Average % of residents of industrialized countries that were a victim of a crime in 1999608: 21%

This page is an excerpt from The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry (April 2003) by Peter Wagner, published by the Western Prison Project and the Prison Policy Initiative.

Footnotes

595 Nils Christie, Crime Control as Industry, 2000 ed, Diagram 4.4-1.

596 Nils Christie, Crime Control as Industry, 2000 ed, p. 49.

597 Nils Christie, Crime Control as Industry, 2000 ed, Diagram 4.4-1.

598 Nils Christie, Crime Control as Industry, 2000 ed, Diagram 4.4-2.

599 New York Times, January 1, 2003.

600 “Finnish Prisons” NYT, January 1, 2003.

601 Nils Christie, Crime Control as Industry, 2000 ed, p. 50.

602 “Finnish Prisons” NYT, January 1, 2003.

603 “Finnish Prisons” NYT, January 1, 2003.

604 “Finnish Prisons” NYT, January 1, 2003.

605 “Finnish Prisons” NYT, January 1, 2003.

606 “Finnish Prisons” NYT, January 1, 2003.

607 Criminal Victimisation in Seventeen Industrialised Countries Van Kesteren, J, Mayhew, P. & Nieuwbeerta, P. (2000) Criminal Victimisation in Seventeen Industrialised Countries: Key-findings from the 2000 International Crime Victims Survey. Chapter 2, Figure 6.

608 Criminal Victimisation in Seventeen Industrialised Countries Van Kesteren, J, Mayhew, P. & Nieuwbeerta, P. (2000) Criminal Victimisation in Seventeen Industrialised Countries: Key-findings from the 2000 International Crime Victims Survey. Chapter 2, Figure 6.

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Events

  • November 29, 2017:
    Legal Director Aleks Kajstura will be in DC speaking at the congressional Democratic Women’s Working Group dinner about women’s mass incarceration.

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