The number of people who started serving a prison sentence between January and the end of September this year was 510, according to Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri.
The minister was responding to a question by Nationalist MP Beppe Fenech Adami, who asked for the number of people who had started serving prison sentences in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
According to the information given to Parliament by Camilleri, there were 700 individuals who started serving a prison sentence in 2019, with the number increasing to 816 in 2020.
Given that the figure for 2021 only includes the months between January and September, it is sure to increase above 510 individuals.
The minister was also asked for the number of people that completed their prison sentence during the same period.
2019 saw 816 individuals leave prison, with the number increasing to 980 during 2020. 784 individuals have completed sentences so far this year.
The fact that more people have left prison than have entered suggests that the prison population is shrinking.
Malta’s prison has been placed under the spotlight recently following stories of inhumane treatment emerging from within the prison’s walls.
An inquiry was launched earlier this summer after an inmate, Colin Galea, died after attempting suicide in prison.
A Council of Europe report into prison systems across the council’s member states found that in 2020, Malta had the highest incarceration rate, with 154.1 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants.
What do you make of these figures?