Two years ago, Taghi Rostamvandi, the then head of Iran’s social affairs organization, said: “Iran, with 240,000 prisoners, ranks ninth in the world in terms of the total number of prisoners.”
At the same time, Seyed Hassan Mousavi Chelek, president of the state-affiliated Social Welfare Association, said: “Fifty people enter prison every hour.”
Earlier, some of Iran’s official sources reported a 17-fold increase in the number of prisoners in the country compared to previous decades.
According to statistics, the number of prisoners before Iran’s revolution in 1979 was about 10,000, from the national population of 36 million at the time.
If one calculates the growth rate of prisoners based on population, now that the population of Iran has crossed the 80 million mark, the number of prisoners in the country should not have reached 30,000, but now the number of prisoners is eight times this number.
The number of prisoners in the country is so large that two years ago, Hossein Pourmand, director-general of the judiciary and execution of the country’s prisons organization, announced that the number of prisoners was 28 percent more than the capacity of the prisons. Overcrowding of prisoners also lowers the quality of the prisons.
While Iran’s prisons have been overrun with prisoners, their number exceeds the capacity of prisons, which is the opposite in many countries due to the sharp decline in crime, so that prisons have changed their use to hotels, restaurants, and service centers.
In the Netherlands, for example, 25 prisons have changed their use, and in this country of 17 million, there are less than 11,000 prisoners, such that it has imported prisoners from Norway.
Denmark also adopted an effective policy to bring the number of prisoners to eight persons in 2017, which is one of the reasons it was on the agenda of countries that are suitable for life.
In every country, the number of prisoners measures the performance of its rulers. A high number of prisoners in the country is much more than just a piece of simple news, as it reflects numerous problems in different parts of the country.
In other words, the high number of prisoners is an indicator of the inefficiency of the overall policies of a country, because prisons and prisoners are the product of crimes and committing crimes resulting from the undesirable economic, social, cultural situation, which the culprit for the crises in these fields is the government.
In addition, in most countries, the number of prisoners is an indicator for measuring life satisfaction and socioeconomic status.
In Iran under the cruel rule of the mullahs, nearly 90 percent of those who go to prison do so because of addiction or theft which is the result of unemployment, lack of a satisfying life, poverty, social depression because of the lack of suitable recreation and welfare for the youths, etc., so if these problems are solved, the country’s people would not land in prison.
In addition to these problems, the abundance of criminal titles is so high that many of the regime’s officials and experts admit that the regime’s laws themselves lead to crimes.
Cases that are not considered a crime in any other country in the world are a crime in Iran. The crime creating of some of the country’s laws has led many people to be labeled prisoners for a petty crime that can even be considered a misdemeanor.
The abundance of criminal titles, while increasing the number of prisoners in the country, imposes a high and long cost on the society and the country and has many social and individual consequences.