Rising number of prisoners is 'out of control'
Record numbers of people are being held in prisons in England and Wales, government figures showed yesterday.
There are 85,076 prisoners – just over 2,000 under the capacity of 87,196 spaces, despite nearly 5,000 extra places being created in the past two years.
The new figures drew criticism from penal reform groups, who described the rise as very worrying.
Juliet Lyon, the director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: "The cost of sustaining our out-of-control prison population has gone beyond affordable bounds. Each new prison place costs £170,000 to build and maintain, and the cost per prisoner per year is £41,000."
Frances Crook of the Howard League for Penal Reform said leaders of all political parties must set out their policies to tackle a crisis in prisons.
She said: "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."
In February, the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, announced the end of an early-release scheme which saw more than 80,000 offenders let out.
No prisoners were eligible for the controversial End of Custody Licence (ECL) scheme after 12 March and the last remaining ECL prisoners were out on 9 April.
The prison population has doubled since the mid-1990s and risen by 3 per cent in the past year.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims