According to the Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics for 2018[1], Poland is on the 8th place with the highest prison populations among Europe countries.  There are 194,4 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants. In January 2018, there was approximately 73 822 inmates in Poland prisons[2]. Approximately 3% of the prisoner’s population serve their sentence for the drug law offences (2 195 prisoners in January 2018)[3]. The average imprisonment term imposed by the courts for the drug law offences is up to 5 years (71% of the sentences were between 1-5 years and 25 % of the sentences below 1 year)[4]. HIV prevalence in Poland prisons is around 2,5%[5]. Speaking about drug use responses in prison, it should be mentioned, that OST and ART is available[6], while there is no NSP. According the SPACE I 2018 survey, the average amount spent per day for the detention of one inmate in Poland prisons is 26,90 Eur/per day, which is 9 818,50 Eur./ per year/ per inmate.

The most recent estimate of the number of high-risk opioid users in Poland was based on 2013 treatment data and nominations from the 2015 population survey (using a multiplier method). It was estimated that there were around 14 664 high-risk opioid users[7]. HIV prevalence among PWID is 3%[8]. The costs of NSP services were ~250,00 Eur/ per person/ per year and OST – approximately 2 000,00 Eur./ per person/ per year.[9] The minimum unemployment benefit sum is 197,00 Eur./ per person/ per month (which is 2 364,00 Eur/ per person/ per year)[10].

So if the person would need OST, NSP and unemployment benefit, it would cost for the state around 4 614,00 Eur./ per person/ per year.

The health and social services costs are more than 2 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 http://wp.unil.ch/space/files/2019/04/Key-Findings_190401.pdf
[2] Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics – SPACE 2018 http://wp.unil.ch/space/files/2019/04/FinalReportSPACEI2018_190402.pdf
[3] Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics – SPACE 2018 http://wp.unil.ch/space/files/2019/04/FinalReportSPACEI2018_190402.pdf
[4] https://docplayer.pl/17980510-Struktura-kar-orzekanych-w-polsce-i-w-innych-panstwach-unii-europejskiej.html
[5] http://www.aidsinfoonline.org/kpatlas/#/home
[6] http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/drug-reports/2018/poland/drug-use-and-responses-prison_en
[7] http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/drug-reports/2018/poland/drug-use_en
[8] http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/publications/8903/poland-cdr-2018-with-numbers.pdf
[9] The information is estimated and provided by the national partners in Poland.
[10] http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20170001065/U/D20171065Lj.pdf