Jails facing further cash crisis

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A further cash injection of at least pounds 70m will be needed next year to deal with the prison overcrowding crisis if numbers continue to rise at the present rate, it emerged yesterday.

The extra money follows a pounds 43m emergency pay-out by Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, last week, to provide 1,490 urgently needed places in the coming two years. Richard Tilt, the Director General of the Prison Service, said current estimates suggested that by November next year the system will be at breaking point again with a shortfall of about 2,500 places for inmates. Housing the extra 2,500 prisoners will cost at least pounds 70m. Jason Bennetto