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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

December 16, 2005: Imprisonment Figures Published

The new Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2004 for England and Wales published by the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate provide some interesting insights into the nature of the prison population in England and Wales.

The prison population in England and Wales rose by 830 prisoners ( an increase of 1%), between June 2003 and June 2004, reaching a total of 74,490. This was a lower rate of increase than 2001 to 2002 and 2002 to 2003, when the population rose by 7% and 3% respectively.

In the medium term, the prison population increased by 25,560 prisoners, or 52%, over the decade from 1994 to 2004. Over the longer historical term, the average prison population has grown from 17,440 in 1900 to 74,657 in 2004.

The female prison population dropped by 3% between June 2003 and June 2004, which as the statistics noted represents:

"a reversal in the trend seen over the previous 9 years, in which the female population increased year on year. Since 1994 the female prison population has increased by 147 per cent."

Over the decade ending in 2004, the female prison population serving longer sentences of 4 years or more rose by 215%.

In terms of religious affiliation, the largest group of prisoners in England and Wales in June 2004 in prison was Anglicans, who were 33% of the prison population. The other main groups were those with no religious affiliation (32%), Roman Catholics (17%) and Muslims (9%). The fastest growing religious group over the decade ending in 2004 was Buddhists, who increased by no less than 574%, and numbered 1,130 in 2004. Muslim prisoners grew by 161% over the same period. The only group to reduce in size over the decade was Jewish prisoners, who dropped by 9%.

In June 2005, there were 18,750 prisoners in England and Wales from ethnic groups other than White, representing 25% of the prison population with known ethnic group. There were 11,170 prisoners from the Black or Black British ethnic group, 15% of the total prison population, making this the largest minority ethnic group. Asian or Asian British prisoners numbered 4,560 (6% of the prison population). There were 2,160 prisoners (3% of the total) from the Mixed ethnic group.

There were 8,940 foreign national prisoners in 2004, or roughly one eighth of the total prison population.

Prisons in England and Wales held 5,590 prisoners under a life sentence on 30th June 2004.

England & Wales (with 142 prisoners per 100,000 general population) had the highest per capita imprisonment rate in the old European Union. England and Wales are followed by Spain (with 134 prisoners per 100,000 population), Scotland (133), the Netherlands (128) and Portugal (124). The new Statistics note that there were higher rates in the USA (726), Russia (529) and some of the new EU countries (up to 340 in Estonia and Latvia).

NB: The 15 member states of the old EU comprise Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (England & Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland). The 10 new members from 1 May 2004 are Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.