Britain’s prison population: the stats unlockedPosted: June 11, 2015
Why does UK lock up more people than any other western European country?
Between 1993 and 2014 the prison population in England and Wales increased by more than 40,000 people, that’s a 91 per cent rise. By June 2020 the prison population is projected to reach 90,200 in England and Wales.
How does the prison population break down?
- England and Wales 84,372
- Scotland 7,620
- Northern Ireland 1,713
England and Wales have the highest imprisonment rate in western Europe, locking up 149 people per 100,000 of the population.
Why are there so many prisoners behind bars?
- The courts have sentenced more offenders to prison each year since 1993
- Offenders have been staying in prison for longer. Since 1993 there’s been a greater use of long custodial sentences.
- Reoffending rates have risen. Nearly half of the prison population is serving a sentence less than 12 months. A greater use of short sentences over community alternatives, which are less effective at reducing reoffending, means that today 58 per cent of those on short sentences reoffend within a year of release.
How much does it cost to keep so many people in prison?
At an average annual cost per prison place of £36,237, the rise in the prison population represents an additional cost of £1.22 billion annually—that’s over £40 per year for every UK taxpayer.