According to the Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics for 2018[1], Georgia is on the 2nd place with the highest prison populations among Europe countries.  There are 252,2 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants. In January 2018, there was approximately 9 407 inmates in Georgia prisons[2]. Approximately 29% of the prisoner’s population serve their sentence for the drug law offences (2 733 prisoners in January 2018)[3]. The average imprisonment term imposed by the courts for the drug law offences is up to 8 years[4]. HIV prevalence in Georgia prisons is around 0,2%[5]. Speaking about drug use responses in prison, it should be mentioned, that OST and ART are available, while NSP does not exist in the prisons. 130 prisoners get opioid antagonist treatment, more precisely – detoxification (methadone/buprenorphine maintenance treatment is not possible)[6]. According the SPACE I 2018 survey, the average amount spent per day for the detention of one inmate in Georgia prisons is 11,70 Eur/per day, which is 4 270,50 Eur./ per year/ per inmate.

Estimated number of people who inject drugs in Georgia is approximately 52 500[7]. HIV prevalence among PWID is 2,3%[8]. The costs of NSP services – 212,00 Eur/ per person/ per year and OST – approximately 1216,00 Eur./ per person/ per year.[9] There is no unemployment benefit in Georgia.

So if the person would need OST and NSP, it would cost for the state around 1 428,00 Eur./ per person/ per year.

The health and social services costs are almost 3 times less than incarceration costs.


[1] Prisons and Prisoners in Europe 2018: Key Findings of the SPACE I report Marcelo F. Aebi and Mélanie M. Tiago
[2] Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics – SPACE 2018
[3] Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics – SPACE 2018
[9] The information is estimated and provided by the national partners in Georgia