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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

March 4, 2005: Record Number of Men in Prison

The Prison Reform Trust have stated that there are more men in prison than ever before, as the Prison Service is forced to make financial savings and the Home Office reduces the overall number of prison places. According to official figures the number of adult male prisoners is now 68,479, the highest ever recorded total. In the last month the total population has increased by just under 1300, equivalent to two medium sized jails. The total prison population in England and Wales currently stands at 75, 376. More details are available on Crimlinks prison figures page.

The prison population has increased by nearly 25,000 in the last ten years. In 1995 the average prison population was 51,084. When Labour came to Government in May 1997, the prison population stood at 60, 131. Since 1997 there have been 17,000 extra prison places provided at a cost of more than £2.5 billion.

Of the 139 jails in England and Wales, no less than 83 are currently overcrowded. Overall there are more than 16,000 prisoners sharing two to a cell meant for one person in conditions which were recently described by the Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service, Martin Narey, as ‘little short of gross’.

The Prison Reform Trust point out that many jails are struggling to provide adequate levels of purposeful activity for prisoners who can be locked in their cells for up to 20 hours each day. In the last ten years 13 new prisons have been opened and of these nine are overcrowded. Despite the population pressures the Prison Service has had to make savings in recent months to avoid a predicted overspend for the current financial year. This has led to a recruitment freeze for all non-essential posts.

Overall prison numbers began to stabilize at the end of the last year and the Home Office has started to temporarily close some accommodation. The capacity of the Prison Service was reduced in January by just under 500 places. The women’s prison population in England and Wales has fallen by more than 200 over the last year. It currently stands at 4,377.

Prison Reform Trust Director Juliet Lyon stated:

‘Until Government succeeds in its policy to reserve prison for serious and violent offenders, and unless the courts are prepared to send petty offenders out on community service or drug treatment orders and keep time spent in custody to a necessary minimum, then we are stuck with an overcrowded prison system patently failing to do its job to prevent re-offending.’