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Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Latest justice trends

The latest offender management statistics reveal some new justice trends.

10 things you didn't know?

On Thursday 25 October 2018, the Ministry of Justice published no fewer than nine statistical bulletins. Amongst them, was the Offender Management Statistics Bulletin which covers the prison population until 30 September and data from the rest of the system up to 30 June 2018.

Here are the ten trends that I found interesting:

1: Prison population down

After being relatively stable for the past five years, the prison population has fallen in 2018/ down by 3% to 83,005. There was a big fall in the number of first receptions (people who went to prison for the first time). There were 19,330 sent to prison for the first time in the last quarter, 9% down on the same quarter last year.

2: But adjudications up

However, despite having fewer prisoners, there were 3% more adjudications in the last quarter compared to the same period in the previous year, a total of 48,793 of which 5,584 resulted in additional days being added to prisoners’ sentences.

3: Probation caseload stable

The number of offenders on probation at the end of June 2018 (261,196) was stable (less than 1% decrease) compared to the same point in the previous year.

4: But recalls up

5,999 offenders recalled to prison in the latest quarter; an 11% increase on the same quarter in 2017.

5: More sex offenders in prison

The rise in the long determinate sentenced population is in line with the increasing number of sentenced sex offenders. As at 30 September 2018 there were 13,535 prisoners serving sentences for sexual offences, which represented 19% of the sentenced prison population.

6: Violent offenders in prison

One in every four (26%) sentenced prisoners is in prison for a violence against the person offence. This proportion has remained stable for the past 12 months. The number of those sentenced to a ‘Possession of Weapons’ offence increased by 14% (to 2,842) compared to the same time last year. This substantial increase can be attributed to a range of factors, including more targeted police operations against knife crime. However this offence group only accounts for 4% of the sentenced prison population.

7: Extended Determinate Sentences

EDSs (the replacement to IPPs, with a fixed release date but a requirement to serve at least two thirds of the sentence inside and extended licence periods on release) were made available for courts to impose from 13 April 2015 and on 30 September 2018, 4,896 prisoners were serving such sentences; a 4% increase compared to the previous quarter and a 21% increase compared to the same time last year.

8: Foreign National Offenders

There were 9,047 (1,706 remand, 6,642 sentenced and 699 non-criminal) foreign nationals held in custody and HMPPS-operated Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) as at 30 September 2018; representing 11% of the total prison population. The number of FNOs in the prison (and HMPPS IRC) population has decreased by 9% compared to 30 September 2017. The most common nationalities after British Nationals in prisons are Polish (9% of the FNO prison population), Albanian (8%), Irish (8%), Romanian (8%) and Jamaican (5%).

9: Home Detention Curfew

3,836 offenders were released on HDC during the latest quarter. The number of HDC releases increased by 69% compared to the same quarter in 2017.

10: Releases on Temporary Licence

There were 91,952 incidences of ROTL during the quarter ending June 2018, which is a 7% increase on the same quarter last year. Compared to the quarter ending June 2017, the number of ROTL incidences increased by 18% for females (to 8,141) and increased by 6% for males (to 83,811). The number of individuals given at least one incidence of ROTL between April and June 2018 was 4,185, which represents a 4% increase from the same period in 2017.

 

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