The rates of different crimes and the use of illicit substances before and during imprisonment among prisoners


  • Muhammad Shakeel Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry, Pak International Medical College Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
  • Umair khan Department of Prison Central Prison Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
  • Adeela Shakeel Clinical Psychologist, Cantonment Hospital Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan



Rates of the crimes, Rates of the use of substances, imprisonment


Introduction: There is a strong association between the use of substances and criminal behaviour. The use of illicit substances is not only a criminal act, but it also predisposes a person to other crimes. As the use of illicit substances is quite common among criminals, similarly the rate of crimes is also high among substance users.

Objectives: To document the rates of different crimes among prisoners and the rates of the use of different substances among them before and during imprisonment.

Materials & Methods: In this observational study, 327 sample size was achieved through systematic probability sampling technique from central prison Haripur from November to December 2022. Data were analyzed for descriptive statistics through SPSS 24; rates and  percentages were calculated for categorical variables, while the mean and standard deviation were calculated for continuous variables.

Results: The prisoners were almost all males (99.1%) with only 0.9% females. The mean age of the prisoners was 38.64 ± 12.57 years. The most common crime was murder (44.5%). The lifetime rate of the use of tobacco before imprisonment was 63.3% while it increased up to 67.3% during imprisonment. Almost 32.75% reported the use of illicit substances before imprisonment while 23.5% were still using illicit substances inside the prison.

Conclusion: Imprisonment does not cessate the habit of substance use by prisoners, it merely alters the pattern and magnitude of the problem, in relation to ease of access of illicit substances.