North Macedonia

According to the Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics for 2018[1], the North Macedonia is above European median when we speak about the prison population among Europe countries. There are 146,0 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants (while European median is 102,5). In January 2018, there was approximately 3 029 inmates in the North Macedonia prisons[2]. Approximately 17% of the prisoner’s population serve their sentence for the drug law offences (518 prisoners in 2017)[3]. The average imprisonment term imposed by the courts for the drug law offences is up to 4 years[4]. HIV prevalence in the North Macedonia prisons is 0 cases, while HCV prevalence is 164 cases, according 2014 data[5]. Speaking about drug use responses in prison, it should be mentioned, that OST exists in the prisons. 271 out of 627 people who use drugs (43,2%) receive opioid agonist treatment[6]. ART is available, NSP doesn’t exist in prison settings. According to the SPACE I 2018 survey, the average amount spent per day for the detention of one inmate in the North Macedonia prisons is 17,20 Eur/per day, which is 6 278,00 Eur./ per year/ per inmate.

There is approximately 10 200 people who inject drugs in the North Macedonia[7]. Prevalence of HIV among PWID – 0,12%[8]. The costs of NSP services are approximately 156,00 Eur. / per person/ per year. OST costs are – 934,00 Eur./ per person/ per year[9] (data from 2013). The minimum unemployment benefit is 25,00 Eur./ per person/ per month (which is 300,00 Eur/ per person/ per year).

So, if the person would need OST, NSP and unemployment benefit, it would cost for the state around 1 390,00 Eur./ per person/ per year.

The health and social services costs are more than 4,5 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 the North Macedonia (service providers organization)