Latest Public Sector News

19.08.11

Prison population increasing dramatically

The prison population has been rising by 100 a day over the past week due to the high conviction rate of rioting cases.

In England and Wales, prison numbers have risen by 677 to 86,608 in the six days up to Thursday.

The Prison Governors Association warned that jails could run out of space if they continued to fill up at this rate, but stated that there was no immediate crisis. Contingency plans are in place, inclusing using extra beds in cells and utilising spare capacity in secure children’s homes and training centres for young offenders, and will be outlined by prison service chiefs on Friday.

Harry Fletcher, of Napo, the probation officers' union, said: “There are so many of them coming through the system, it is causing considerable problems. When people are being held so far from home it causes real difficulties for their families.”

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman stated: “There is substantial capacity in the prison system. We will provide prison places for those committed to custody by the courts. We are developing contingencies should exceptional pressure be placed on the prison estate.”

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