In the countries of south-east Europe, the suicide rate in prisons is somewhat lower than the European average. If we look at the period between 2011 and 2015, the Balkans had an average of 53 cases of suicide for every 100,000 prisoners each year, while for the rest of Europe that average was 87. The data is recorded annually by the Council of Europe and published after a process of detailed scrutiny, to ensure reliability; data on Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo is not currently available.
Furthermore, in the Balkans there is a relatively small difference difference between the suicide rate among prisoners, and the rate among the general population (prisoners are about 5 times more likely to commit suicide than their compatriots). In other European countries, such as France, Belgium and Norway, the probability that a prisoner commits suicide is much higher – 10 times more likely, to be precise, than their fellow citizens. Does it necessarily follow that the treatment of prisoners in the Balkans is better than in the rest of Europe?
Caution in drawing conclusions should be encouraged by the differences in composition between the prison population in the Balkans and in the rest of Europe, which help to explain at least in part the differences in behaviour. Various studies in fact reveal significant correlations b