On November 1, French prison establishments had 72,809 inmates for 60,698 operational places, i.e. a prison density of 120%, against 115.4% a year ago.

The previous record (72,575 detainees) was recorded in March 2020, on the eve of the confinement decided to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and which had led to a drastic drop in the number of prisoners.

The statistics had risen regularly since, until approaching this historic high last month, with 72,350 people incarcerated on October 1.

Over one year, there are 2,997 more prisoners – they were 69,812 on October 1, 2021 – an increase of 4.3%.

According to official figures from the ministry, 15,469 detainees are currently in excess of the places available in penitentiary establishments (compared to 13,170 a year ago). Due to this overcrowding, 2,225 are forced to sleep on mattresses on the floor.

3.5% of prisoners are women and 0.8% minors.

More than a quarter of detainees (26.9%) are defendants, that is to say people awaiting trial – and therefore presumed innocent.

The prison density in remand centers, where these defendants and those sentenced to short sentences are imprisoned, climbs to 142.8%.