Open Data Albania discloses the number of criminal offenders sent to Institutions for the Execution of Criminal Sentences by the level of punishment during January 2013-January 2017.  The analysis includes four categories of sentences: life imprisonment, imprisonment from 20 to 35 years, imprisonment from 15 to 20 years, and imprisonment for less than 15 years. The data are based on the Statistics of the General Directorate of Prisons, and are processed, commented, and analyzed by ODA.
Article 29 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania provides for three main punishments for criminal offenders: life imprisonment, imprisonment, and fines. The second paragraph of the same article provides for two punishments for authors of criminal contraventions, imprisonment and fines. Imprisonment for the commission of a criminal offence may be given for a period of five days up to thirty five years. The maximum of imprisonment was increased in 2013 from 25 to 35 years. The Criminal Code provides for some conditions to be met for a life sentence. First, life imprisonment is imposed by the court on people, who have committed a serious crime. Second, life imprisonment may not be imposed on women and people, who had not reached the age of 18 at the time they committed the crime.
Criminal offenders punished by life imprisonment or just imprisonment are sent to special institutions designed for them to serve their sentence as foreseen by the Criminal Code. Juvenile and women criminal offenders serve their prison sentences in separate institutions from those for men. These main punishments may be accompanied by complementary punishments depending on the circumstances of the case and upon discretion of the judge. The Criminal Code provides also for the conditional release of criminal offenders punished by life sentence. Thus, an offender who serves his life sentence may be released by the court if he has served at least thirty five years of imprisonment, has had an exemplary attitude during this period, ant purpose of his re-education is achieved. As for the death sentence, the Constitutional Court found such sentence, which was foreseen by both the Criminal Code and the Military Criminal Code, anti-constitutional in times of peace through its Decision No. 65, dated 10.12.1999. Such a step was promoted following Albania’s membership in the Council of Europe.
Referring to statistics, the highest number of people punished by life sentence during January 2013-January 2017 was marked in January 2017 by 164 offenders. Figures show an increasing trend of the number of criminal offenders punished by life sentence from one year to another. The lowest number of offenders, 122, punished by this sentence was marked in January 2014. This came as a result of the adoption of a tougher criminal policy and an increase of the number of serious crimes. The Code of Criminal Procedure provides for an exhausted list of serious crimes in its Article 75/a. As for the number of criminal offenders punished from 20 to 35 years of imprisonment, it was 348 in January.
Number of criminal offenders sentenced to prison in the Republic of Albania during January 2013-January 2017
Length of sentence/Month January 2013 January 2014 January 2015 January 2016 January 2017
less than 15 years 2084 2171 1755 1440 1935
15-20 years 330 406 384 335 234
20-35 years 300 426 441 431 348
Life imprisonment 142 122 149 160 164
TOTAL 2856 3125 2729 2366 2681
Source: General Directorate of Prisons
Comment: ODA

Another category of sentence targeted by this analysis is that of criminal offenders sentenced from 15 to 20 years of imprisonment from January 2013 until January 2017. The highest number of criminal offenders in this category was marked in January 2014 with 406 offenders, who are still serving it in the special institutions. 

Source: General Directorate of Prisons
Comment: ODA

Most of the criminal offenders during this reporting period were punished by the court by less than 15 years of imprisonment. The highest number in this category was marked in January 2014 by 2171 criminal offenders punished by less than 15 years of imprisonment. This number decreased significantly in January 2016 to 1440 offenders punished to less than 15 years to prison. 

Keeping a criminal offender in prison or pre-detention is a process that has financial costs. An estimation based on payments made to prisons through state treasury transactions showed that the average cost for a prisoner in 2013 was five hundred and twenty four thousand lek? per year. The estimation is made through an investigation of Open Data Albania.