The number of inmates is measured on a given date (reference day). This survey on custodial sentences and pre-trial detention is conducted every year on 31 January in the cantonal penal institutions of the justice and police departments. These are inventory statistics providing a snapshot at a given moment in time of the number of persons in detention.
Information on custodial sentences and execution of adult sanctions
Detainees according to type of detention on reference day
Remand and preventive detention on reference day
Remand and preventive detention can be ordered by the responsible authority when strong suspicion exists that the accused has committed a felony or misdemeanour and they are likely to flee, collude or reoffend (cf. Art. 221 Swiss Criminal Procedure Code - CPC 312.0).
Detainees under custodial sentences and measures
Statistics on the execution of sanctions are flow statistics, providing a longer-term view of the movements of detained persons and which, by calculating the time that has elapsed between admission and release, provides the length of imprisonment.
This statistics only includes persons who are in the execution of custodial sentences or measures (including accelerated execution) in a penal institution. Persons in other types of detention (e.g. remand or preventive detention) are not recorded here.
This average number of persons takes into account persons who spent at least one day in a penal institution during their execution of measure. Persons who were exclusively in private facilities (homes, forensic psychiatric clinics, etc.) are not included in the statistics.
Further tables by subject
Statistical sources and concepts
ContactFederal Statistical Office Section Crime and Criminal Justice
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