Generating synergies between National Statistical Offices and prison systems: the main challenge to produce quality statistics in this area.

In the framework of the virtual talks of the Knowledge Transmission Network (KTN) of the Statistical Conference of the Americas (SCA), which seeks to promote the exchange of experiences among the National Statistical Offices of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the SCA 2022-2023 Working Group on Prison Systems, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) of Mexico in the Coordination, and the Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice (CoE) in the Technical Secretariat, presented the results of the diagnostic: “Compilation of experiences to generate statistics on Prison Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

This document comes in a context in which statistics on prison systems and persons deprived of liberty are rare; and with it the need for more and better data on prison systems, as an essential resource to monitor the progress of the SDG 2030, specifically the indicator on the percentage of persons deprived of liberty without a sentence; and on the other hand, to design, implement and evaluate public policies based on evidence and guarantee the rights of persons deprived of liberty.

In order to improve the institutional capacities of countries in the region to generate statistical information on prison systems, this diagnostic identifies the main challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, based on the analysis of four dimensions: (a) the resources (human, technical and financial) available to countries, (b) the regulatory frameworks and international standards that mandate and/or guide the generation of statistical information on prison systems, (c) the availability of statistical information collection instruments (administrative records, censuses and surveys) that countries have at their disposal, and (d) the forms of dissemination and support for users of statistics.

As a result of this diagnostic, one of the main challenges was the strengthening of interinstitutional relations and the involvement of National Statistical Offices in the process of generating statistical information, in order to take advantage of their technical and methodological expertise.

Finally, it was mentioned that, in the spirit of improving and strengthening public security and justice statistics, a Working Group will be created for the 2024-2025 biennium to contribute to the production of statistical information on police.

Learn more about the participation of the Center of Excellence in the SCA-ECLAC Working Groups at: