Prison population set to soar

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The Independent Online
The number of inmates in jails could rocket to a record high of 60,000 by autumn next year as courts hand out tougher sentences, Richard Tilt, director-general of the Prison Service, warned yesterday. He said an urgent building programme was needed simply to house the growing numbers of prisoners this year.

It is believed that he will now demand around pounds 115m - equivalent to the total capital budget for the current financial year - from the Home Secretary to finance a further 3,500 places by March. He told the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee that the jail population, at 54,600, was rising far quicker than expected and was already at the projected total for next spring.