Facts & Figures

These statistics provide some information about the context in which Prison Fellowship works in England and Wales:

Prison Population

The prison population in England and Wales stands at 84,522.[1] Since 1995 the prison population has risen by 66%.[2] We currently have an imprisonment rate of 154 per 100,000 of the population. This compares to 96 per 100,000 in Germany and 90 in France.[3] 134,000 people entered prison in 2008-up by 7% from 2007.[4] We are the top incarcerator in Western Europe.[5]

On 6th November 2009 there were 4,274 women in prison.[6] The number of women imprisoned has risen by 44% over the last decade.[7] Over half the women in prison say they have suffered domestic violence and one in three has experienced sexual abuse.[8] 37% of women in custody say they have attempted suicide at some time of their life.[9]

At the end of June 2009 there were 9,775 young adults (18-20yrs) in prison and 2,556 children under 18.[10] 71% of children in custody have been involved with, or in the care of, social services before entering custody.[11]

In 2008 there were 1,429 recorded cases of self harm by children in custody.[12] Young women in custody are twice as likely to self harm as adult women.[13] Children in prison are 18 times more prone to commit suicide than those in the community.[14] The suicide rate for men in prison is five times higher than the general population.[15]

Those Affected by Crime

There are 160,000 children in England and Wales with a parent in prison. This is two and a half times the number of those in care and over six times the number of those on the Child Protection Register.[16] 7% of children will experience their father’s imprisonment before they leave school.[17] In 2006 more children were affected by the imprisonment of a parent than by divorce.[18] 65% of boys with a convicted parent go on to offend.[19]

The risk of being a victim of crime has increased from 22% to 23% during 2009 having fallen from 40% in 1995.[20] There were 4.7 million recorded crimes in 2008/09.[21]

Reoffending

47% of adults are reconvicted within one year of release – for those serving sentences of less than 12 months this increases to 60%.[22] Reoffending by ex-prisoners costs society at least £11 billion a year.[23] 64.3% of women released from prison in 2004 were reconvicted within two years.[24] 75% of children released in 2007 reoffended within a year.[25]

[1] NOMS Prison Population and Accommodation Briefing for 6 November 2009.

[2] Ministry of Justice (2009) Story of the Prison Population 1995-2009, England and Wales, London: Ministry of Justice.

[3] International Centre for Prison Studies, http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/law/research/icps

[4] Ministry of Justice (2009) Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2008, London: TSO

[5] International Centre for Prison Studies, http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/law/research/icps

[6] NOMS Prison Population and Accommodation Briefing for 6 November 2009.

[7] Ministry of Justice (2009) Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2008, London: TSO

[8] Social Exclusion Unit (2002) Reducing Reoffending by ex-prisoners, London: Social Exclusion Unit

[9] Corston, J. (2007) The Corston report, London: Home Office

[10] Ministry of Justice (2009) Population in Custody, England and Wales, June 2009, London: Ministry of Justice

[11] Youth Justice Board, Accommodation and Experiences, 2007, as cited in legal action, February 2008

[12] Hansard, House of Commons written answers, 12 October 2009: Col 166W

[13] HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales (2008) Annual Report 2006/07, London: HM Inspectorate of Prisons

[14] Frühwald, S., and Frottier, P., Suicide in prison, The Lancet, vol 366, issue 9493, 8 October 2005, as cited in legal action Feb 2008

[15] NOMS, Safer Custody News, January/February 2009

[16] Ministry of Justice and Department for Children, Schools and Families, Children of Offenders Review, June 2007

[17] Department for Education and Skills, (2003) Every Child Matters, London: Stationary Office

[18] Action for prisoners’ Families, CLINKS, Prison Advice & Care Trust, Prison Reform Trust (2007) The Children and families of prisoners, London: PRT

[19] Social Exclusion Unit (2002) Reducing reoffending by ex-prisoners, London: SEU

[20] Home Office, Crime in England and Wales 2008/09, Summary of the main findings

[21] ibid

[22] Ministry of Justice (2009), Reoffending of adults: results from the 2007 cohort, London: TSO

[23] Social Exclusion Unit (2002) Reducing reoffending by ex-prisoners, London: SEU

[24] Home Office statistical bulletin, Reoffending of adults: results from 2004 cohort

[25] Ministry of Justice (2009), Reoffending of juveniles: results from the 2007 cohort, London: TSO