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Prison and probation stats for summer 2021

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The latest trends

Last Thursday (29 July 2021), the MoJ and Office for National Statistics published the latest edition of its offender management statistics bulleting which cover the first quarter of this year up to the end of March. Many of the facts and figures continue, of course, to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. I’ve picked out some of the key trends below.

Receptions down

There were 14,131 first receptions into prison between January and March 2021, a fall of 17% compared to the same period in 2020. This is almost certainly due to the fact that we are comparing a non-COVID period with a COVID period. The next edition of this bulletin, due out at the end of October, will show us how far the system has bounced back or whether the court backlog is still having a substantial impact.

Releases also down

There were 11,419 releases from sentences between January and March 2021; this is 22% lower than the same period in 2020. The official statistician comments that as the prison population shifts towards those serving longer sentences, we expect fewer releases in each period. The number is also depressed by there being fewer first receptions of people serving short sentences in the previous six month period with the court prioritising more serious offences during the pandemic.

Remand prison population highest for over 10 years

Following a decreasing trend since 2014, the remand population has dramatically increased since June 2019. As at 30 June 2021, the remand population was 12,727. This is the highest annual (‘as at 30 June’) figure since June 2010.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected normal court operations. The number of outstanding cases (“caseload”) at Magistrates Courts increased by around 21% between Q1 (January to March) 2020 and Q1 2021; from around 328,000 to 396,000. Between June 2020 and June 2021, the total remand population increased by 12%. The number of males and females in custody on remand rose by 12% (to 12,084) and 7% (to 643) respectively.

Most of those in custody on remand were being held for either:

  • Violence against the person (28% of the untried population and 18% of the convicted unsentenced population)
  • Drug offences (28% of the untried population and 32% of the convicted unsentenced population)

Proportion of sexual offenders slowly falling

While this is one of the largest offence groups of immediate custodial sentenced prisoners, their number has continued to fall since mid-2018 after a record high since at least 2002. There was a 4% decrease (to 11,779) in the immediate custodial sentenced sexual offender population in the 12 months to 30 June 2021.


There were 1,722 IPP (those serving Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences) prisoners as at 30 June 2021 which represents a decrease of 13% in the last 12 months. This figure has decreased since the June 2012 peak of 6,080, and while the number of IPP prisoners who have been recalled to custody increased until 30 June 2020, it has since decreased by 2% to 1,332. The proportion of the IPP population who are post-tariff continues to increase; 96% of IPP prisoners were post-tariff as of 30 June 2021 compared to 94% at the same time in 2020.

Extended determinate sentences

EDSs were made available for courts to impose from 13 April 2015, effectively replacing IPPs.  People sentenced to EDSs are not released automatically at the two thirds stage of the sentence but instead are only eligible to apply for Parole at that stage. However, they are released automatically at the end of their custodial term (unlike IPPs). After release EDS prisoners will be subject to supervision until the end of the aggregate of the custodial period and the extension period – up to 5 years for violent offences and up to 8 years for sexual offences. On 30 June 2021, 6,164 prisoners were serving EDSs; a 6% increase compared to the same time last year. 

A welcome drop in licence recalls

There were 5,217 licence recalls between January and March 2021, a 21% decrease on the same quarter in 2020. To my mind, this may be attributable to two issues: the reduced service operated by the probation (it was also harder for people on supervision not to comply with their licence conditions when compliance simply meant answering a weekly phone call) and the reduced opportunities to commit some crimes (theft, burglaries and robberies) during lockdown.

Probation caseload down

This number of people on probation, 224,174, at the end of March 2021 has decreased by 7% compared to the number supervised as at 31 March 2020. As you can see from the graphic above, the number of people supervised on a community sentence is the lowest for many years.

Between January and March 2021, 71% of 11,470 Community Orders and 80% of 6,964 Suspended Sentence Orders (for the supervision period) were terminated successfully, i.e. ran their full course or were terminated early for good progress. 

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One Response

  1. Sir/Madam
    Please see the letter we have sent to various justice charities and activists, it could by you may be able to take advantage of it yourself and contribute to one of our programmes, or, you may know of a charity or body that can, or both.
    We have recently commissioned a website, we will be approaching the Prison journals asking them to do an article and get their advertising prices and of course we will be present on Social Media. If you have queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact me either by email or the phone.
    My number is 07961 980153 until a landline is installed.

    Proper Justice

    Purpose of Proper Justice

    After spending three years in jail for a crime I did not commit, from the outset I felt very sorry for myself and took the attitude that my conviction and sentence was one of only a very few that was unjust and a rarity in what is deemed the best Justice system in the world.

    It didn’t take long for me to realise that it was not just me and my case, but that the whole of the laughably named Justice system was corrupt and based solely into misleading the public into thinking the politicians and various ministers really do not give a tinkers cuss about Justice, rather, they decree and enforce these laws to make the uninitiated public think they are going to great lengths to minister justice, when all along all they are interested in is getting votes at the next election.

    In my time in jail, I have seen and heard of Men and Women and their families whose lives have been ruined by miscarriages of justice. There is no way back for a lot of them, everything from their time, money and worst of all their good name has been destroyed and in some cases never to be repaired or replaced.

    There are many good and noble charities out there fighting the corner of those in jail and victims of this corrupt system. You are probably such a charity or organisation. You are doing an excellent job and doing it far better than I or this organisation could ever do. We are NOT here to encroach on that in any way shape or form.

    No… Our purpose is to let more people know firstly that you exist, secondly and this is why WE exist, To let the public know you need to have a louder voice than you have and make more people aware of the great work you currently do. Our function is to give you a far bigger audience and many more sympathetic ears in the coming months and probably years. You are the expert on your charity or cause, You and you alone will get your message across better than anyone else, after all you have been doing it for some time.

    How will we achieve this?

    Every month Proper Justice will have a particular topic, one month it could be about the injustice of IPP sentences, another month it will be perhaps on Joint enterprise, on a subsequent month it could be the unfair way sex offenders are tried and convicted. All of these causes are very ably represented by a body or a charity. Every month, one of these Charities will be invited to speak in a short film or presentation to those who support Proper Justice.
    The whole of that online programme will be devoted to Your specific cause or charity. This will be the main article in that month’s release. Proper Justice is aiming at a very large nationwide audience, many of whom may not themselves be victims, but either they have relatives and friends in jail or otherwise who are. During my research I have come to realise, this is something new and dynamic in getting your point across. You will be invited to liase with us in order to get your presentation perfected.

    So what’s in it for you?

    Well, firstly, you get to reach a far bigger audience than you currently enjoy, You can recruit both volunteers and supporters simply by your online presentation. You can get your point across not just on the day of the online presentation, but it will be there permanently on the website for you or others to download at a later date should you wish.
    Thirdly and most importantly, We have researched this over a period of time and people will be happy to contribute to the production and the information therein. So….The initial showing will be free for all to see on the website, thereafter if people want to see these ensuing presentations there will be a charge to log in. No prices have been set yet but to give an example. The contributions for your particular presentation on Proper Justice total say £3000.00
    The Costs to make presentation for that month say£1000.00
    This leaves a gross profit of £2000.00.
    You will invoice Proper Justice for £1000.00 (50% of gross profit)
    This is all in addition to any other contributions and donations you receive.
    Our Accountants will give you a financial breakdown of all the costs involved and this will be given at any time you choose, before or after your presentation. We feel this is what your organisation needs and deserves. Please feel free to call me or email me to discuss it further.

    This is all at the formative stage and we do not expect the site to be live for some time yet, either the end of this year or January at the latest. We are however aiming for a very wide audience with a lot of subscribers.
    This (we believe) will lead to more opportunities to get the corrupt laws changed and even lead to drastic reform.
    We have no offices as yet we are still looking and hence no landline.
    We have not established prices for online payment etc. BUT…We feel we can contribute to allowing you to run your operation more efficiently and profitably, I really hope I can count on your very valued co operation in making Proper Justice the success and threat to miscarriages of justice we intend it to become. As you can imagine we will be covering a multitude of causes and our aim is for all voices to be heard. PLEASE HELP US.

    Yours sincerely.

    Frank Forte.

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