Penal Prison Statistics(Prisoners and persons in preventive custody with demographic and criminological characteristics)
Issues in terms of retrieving raw data
Draw also on survey data
Used as indicator
- Monitoring (trend data)
Plan capacity support criminal and penal policy at national and regional level as well as development of related law used by administration and politicians at national, increasingly also international, level. E.g. national and regional agencies responsible for justice. Also: Council of Europe, Eurostat, UN which work on a system of indicators for crime and criminal justice. Also used by science/academia, judicial practitioners, educational facilities, information provider and media as well as interested citizens
Data available on
This statistical product does not collect information on Victim
- Marital status
Age, gender, nationality, residence, family status of offender (inmate), type of offence, type and presumable duration of sentence, type and frequency of previous convictions (note: not all of these data are correlated with the criminal charges).
Criminal statistics on sexual violence
Criminal statistical data included
Numbers based on cut-off date.
Frequency of updating
No information available
Since the statistics represents a census, no sophisticated methods of aggregation are used. see also response to question 18 (quality assurance)
Compilation follows harmonised standards and is carried out by the statistical offices of the states. Afterwards, the National Statistical Office summarises these based on § 3 Abs. 3 BStatG vom 22.01.1987 (BGBl. I S. 462). This happens usually one month after a case has been closed.
Quality assurance process
At Länder level, statistics undergo automatic assessment routines. The data is made plausible with great effort internally and triangulated with external data. Potential irregularities are clarified by further inquiries on behalf of the Länder statistical offices with the administrative reporting units. Nevertheless, individual errors or incorrect indications cannot be ruled out. The quality of data is weaker for particular parts of the data which are not also used by prison administration for their internal purposes. For example, the no. of inmates without a permanent residence has been overestimated previously since the addresses of inmates where unknown to prison administration. Moreover, changes in the data collection catalogue can create a period of transition in which information on the new/changed characteristics are not collected completely and adequately. Errors might occur both at data collection stage as well as when exporting data from administrative programmes to statistical offices. Known errors are indicated in the respective publications. No systematic fallacies flaws are known of. There are no ongoing revisions of the statistics. Rather, in case of grave mistakes, a new compilation of the statistics is created. If the wrong data had already been published, the German Statistical Office would publish a correction.
Good. Strengths: Quality of results good - very good.
No information available
Good. States usually publish results of their data compilation (based on cut-off date 31th of March each year) in the third quarter in a report/news release under no. B VI 6. The publication of data at national level usually occurs in December (i.e. 8-9 months after the cut-off date). In the past it did happen that due to limited capacity in some Länder, the publication of results at national level was delayed. Short-term inmates might be underrepresented due to the yearly cut-off date procedure. This might affect the quality of statistics if short-term inmates have certain characteristics in common.
- Over time
Changes such as additional variables in the statistics are agreed upon by the committees within the justice administration of the states. The National Statistical Office coordinates the discussions within the statistical offices of the states.