In praise of the Bromley Briefings
The Prison Reform Trust has just (May 2015) published its most recent “Bromley Briefing” – an up-to-date compendium of facts that give an accurate, if depressing account of the state of our prison system.
If you ever need the latest, official information on anything to do with the penal system, the most recent briefing is always your best source.
Here’s ten headline facts from the latest edition.
1. On 15 May 2015, the prison population in England and Wales was 84,372.
Almost double the total in 1993.
2. The average annual cost of a prison place is £36,237.
3. On 31 March 2015, 70 of the 117 prisons in England and Wales were overcrowded.
4. Prisons are getting bigger
43% prisoners are now held in establishments with 1,000 places or more.
5. There are now fewer staff looking after more prisoners.
The number of staff employed in the public prison estate has fallen by 29% in the last four years—12,980 fewer staff.
6. In 2014 there were 243 deaths in custody, the highest number on record.
Over a third were self-inflicted.
7. In the last year serious assaults in prison have risen by over a third.
8. Looked after children make up 33% of boys and 61% of girls in custody.
Despite fewer than 1% of all children in England being in care.
9. England and Wales have the highest imprisonment rate in Western Europe, locking up 149 people per 100,000 of the population.
(Scotland has a rate of 141 per 100,000 and Northern Ireland 93 per 100,000).
10. People aged 60 and over are the fastest growing age group in the prison estate.
The number of sentenced prisoners aged 60 and over rose by 164% between 2002 and 2015.
You can follow @PRTUK on Twitter to keep up with the latest news from the prison system.