Key Links



Death Penalty


Justice System





Practitioner Links

Domestic Violence

Mental Disorder

Restorative Justice

Sex Offenders

Substance Misuse



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

The Prison Population in England & Wales


A Snapshot of People in Prison in May 21010

When talking about people in custody, we are including prisons, secure training centres and secure children’s homes. Our figures are based on Ministry of Justice statistics published on June 30, 2010.

Who is in custody?

The total of people in prison on 31 May 2010 was 85,500, an of 2,200 from a year before. The population in prisons was 85,000 (a rise of 2,200 from a year earlier), in Secure Training Centres (STCs) it was 270 and in Secure Children’s Homes (SCHs) it was 170.

Are there more men than women in prison?

Yes, there are. The male prison population increased by 3 per cent (an increase of 2,100 male prisoners) to 80,700 and the female prison population increased by 2 per cent (an increase of 80female prisoners) to 4,300 in May 2010 compared to May 2009.

How many prisoners have been sentenced to a term in custody?

There were 71,000 sentenced prisoners at 31 May 2010, an increase of 4 per cent (or 3,000 prisoners from the previous year. Ministry of Justice figures confirm that there were increases in those serving sentences of all sentence lengths except 6 months to less than 12 months, which fell by 1 per cent (down 30).

How many prisoners were serving short sentences in custody?

The number of prisoners serving a sentence of less than 6 months rose 17 per cent between May 2009 and May 2010 (up by 660 prisoners).

And how many were serving longer sentences?

The number of those serving sentences of 4 years or more increased by 6 per cent (up 1,400). The number of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences (Life sentences and indeterminate sentences for public protection - IPPs) increased by 8 per cent (up 930) to reach 13,000.

What do people go to prison for?

Amongst prisoners already sentenced, the largest proportionate increases since May 2009 were for theft and handling (up by 25 per cent), "other offences" (up by 19 per cent) and sexual offences (up by 14 per cent). The biggest proportionate decreases since May 2009 were for those serving sentences for fraud and forgery (down 21 per cent), motoring offences (down 113 per cent) and burglary (down 560, 8 per cent).

In terms of offence groups, amongst the remand population the largest proportionate increases since May 2009 were for "other offences" (up 7 per cent), drug offences (up 4 per cent) and sexual offences (up 3 per cent). The largest proportionate falls since May 2009 were seen in those serving sentences for motoring offences (down 31 per cent), fraud and forgery (down 14 per cent) and robbery (down 11 per cent).