Republic of (South) Korea

CountryRepublic of (South) Korea
Ministry responsible
Ministry of Justice
Prison administration
Korea Correctional Service
Contact address
13809, Building #1, Government Complex-Gwacheon, 47, Gwanmun-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea
Telephone
+82 2 2110 3000
Fax
+82 2 2110 0356
Website
Head of prison administration (and title)
(Mrs) Young-hee LEE
Commissioner
Prison population total (including pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners)
53 920
at 30.6.2020 (national prison administration)
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
105
based on an estimated national population of 51.25 million at end of June 2020 (from United Nations figures)
Pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners (percentage of prison population)
35.1%
(30.6.2020)
Female prisoners (percentage of prison population)
7.3%
(30.6.2020)
Juveniles / minors / young prisoners incl. definition (percentage of prison population)
1.6%
(30.6.2020 - under 20)
Foreign prisoners (percentage of prison population)
4.7%
(30.6.2020)
Number of establishments / institutions
54
(2020)
Official capacity of prison system
48 130
(30.6.2020)
Occupancy level (based on official capacity)
112.0%
(30.6.2020)
Prison population trend
(year, prison population total, prison population rate)
2000 62,959 136
2002 61,084 131
2004 57,184 121
2006 46,721 98
2008 46,684 96
2010 47,471 97
2012 45,488 92
2014 50,128 100
2016 56,495 112
2018 54,744 108
2000 62,959 136
2002 61,084 131
2004 57,184 121
2006 46,721 98
2008 46,684 96
2010 47,471 97
2012 45,488 92
2014 50,128 100
2016 56,495 112
2018 54,744 108

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Pre-trial/remand prison population: trend

The table below gives an indication of the recent trend in the pre-trial/remand prison population. The final row shows the latest figures available.

It consists of the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners in the prison population on a single date in the year (or the annual average) and the percentage of the total prison population that pre-trial/remand prisoners constituted on that day.  

The final column shows the pre-trial/remand population rate per 100,000 of the national population. 

                                                 KOREA (Republic of)

Year

Number in
pre-trial/remand
imprisonment

Percentage
of total
prison population

Pre-trial/remand
population rate
(per 100,000 of
national population)

2000
2005
2010
2015

24,854
17,526
15,215
19,273

38.8%
33.1%
31.8%
35.7%

54
37
32
38

2020

18,930

35.1%

37

It should be noted that the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners fluctuates from day to day, month to month and year to year. Consequently the above figures give an indication of the trend but the picture is inevitably incomplete.

The pre-trial/remand population rate is calculated on the basis of the national population total. All national population figures are inevitably estimates but the estimates used in the World Prison Brief are based on official national figures, United Nations figures or figures from other recognised international authorities. 

Female prison population: trend

The table below gives an indication of the trend in the female prison population. The final row shows the latest figures available.

It consists of the number of female prisoners in the prison population on a single date in the year (or the annual average) and the percentage of the total prison population that female prisoners constituted on that day. 

The final column shows the female prison population rate per 100,000 of the national population.

                                              KOREA (Republic of)

Year

Number of
female
prisoners

Percentage
of total
prison population

Female prison
population rate
(per 100,000 of
national population)

2000
2005
2010
2015

2,951
2,589
2,375
3,308

4.8%
5.5%
5.2%
6.1%

6.4
5.5
4.9
6.6

2020

3,943

7.3%

7.7

The number of female prisoners fluctuates and so the above figures give an indication of the trend but the picture is inevitably incomplete.

The female prison population rate is calculated on the basis of the national population total. All national population figures are inevitably estimates but the estimates used in the World Prison Brief are based on official national figures, United Nations figures or figures from other recognised international authorities.

(If the rate were calculated on the basis of the number of females in the national population it would of course be approximately double the figure in the final column).

Prison population total
Prison population rate