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The Bluffer's Briefing: Jails

Population in custody in prisons in England and Wales 1992: 46,120.

Number of female prisoners: 1,600.

Total number serving life sentences: 3,450.

Percentage of males released who reconvict within 2 years: 50 per cent.

Percentage of 15-16 year olds who reconvict within two years: 80 per cent.

Annual budget of the prison service: pounds 1.5bn.

Number of prisons in UK: 130.

Number with over 40 per cent overcrowding: 20.

Most overcrowded prison 1992: Gloucester.

Apparent suicides in prisons in England and Wales in 1992: 39.

Number of escapes in year to mid-1992: 326.

Number of recaptures/surrenders in year to mid-1992: 234.

Annual salary of chief of the prison service: pounds 125,000 plus up to 35 per cent performance-related bonus.