Warning to prison governors

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The Independent Online
Richard Tilt, the director general of the Prison Service, yesterday gave a private warning to prison governors that the jail population will reach 68,000 by the end of the century.

The drastically revised figures were described last night by governors as "astounding". Some warned that they would not be able to cope with the increased numbers. The prison population is already at the record level of 57,000 and portable units are being introduced to cope with the extra inmates.

The revelation coincided with a robust law-and-order speech by Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, to the Tory party conference yesterday. Ian Burrell

Conference, pages 6 and 7