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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

April 23, 2010: Prison Population Hits Record High

The prison population in England and Wales has today hit an all-time high. With a rise of almost 200 prisoners in the last week, there are now more than 85,000 prisoners for the first time ever.

There is a grand total of 85,076 people behind bars, of whom 4319 are women. The overall total compares with same week last year, when there was a total of of  82,773 people in prison.

As the Howard League for Penal Reform points out, in the last twelve months the prison population has increased by almost 3%t. The increased number of prisoners may reflect the policy decision by the outgoing Labour government to close the scheme for early release prior to the general election campaign. This has been interpreted by some as a populist gesture.

Howard League Director Frances Crook commented:

 “While our politicians continue to set an agenda for public spending cuts after the election, if not adding much to the detail of what will be cut where, our prison population continues its unchecked expansion. Having almost doubled since the mid-1990s, a new all time record of 85,076 people in prison has been hit with no end to further record highs in sight.

“This ceaseless growth in prison numbers is untenable and any new administration will have to bite the bullet and find a strategic way to reduce the prison population. Recent reoffending statistics show that 36.8% reoffended on community sentences in 2008, compared to over 61% for those sentenced to a year or less in prison. Not only are community sentences more effective at reducing crime but they come at a fraction of the price, with a community order costing on average £2-3,000 a year compared to at least £41,000 a year to run a prison place.

“We call on the leaders of all the political parties to set out their policies in relation to the prisons crisis and how they intend to deal with our overcrowded and failing prison system.”