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Prison and Probation Trends Autumn 2022
Autumn 2002 statistics show prison population climbing and rises in the number of adjudications and prison recalls.

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Offender Management Statistics

The latest offender management statistics published yesterday (27 October 2022) and covering the period from April to June this year show that the number of people in prison and on probation are on the increase. You can read about some of the headline trends below.

The prison population

In the year ending 30 September, the prison population rose by around 2,550 (which represents a 3% increase) to 81,309. However, the prison population has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels; the 30 September 2022 prison population is still around 1,700 below the level of 31 March 2020.

The increasing remand population trend that we have seen since early 2020 has continued (a 12% increase between 30 September 2021 and 30 September 2022). There were increases over the past 12 months in both elements of the remand population – the ‘untried’ population increased by 15% and the ‘convicted unsentenced’ population increased by 5%. This likely reflects the impact of partial court recovery following COVID-19 restrictions, resulting in an increase in the number of prisoners held on remand. The large increase in the ‘untried’ population this quarter has likely also been driven in part by strike action by the Criminal Bar Association during the month of September 2022. The remand prison population on 30 September 2022 is the highest for at least 50 years.

The rise in the prison population reflects the fact that new receptions increased by 5% on the previous year, while the number of releases fell by 1%. 

Rise in adjudications

There were 38,277 adjudication in the three month period between April and June 2022. This was 4% higher than the same period in 2021. Additional days were awarded as punishment on 642 occasions – this was a 6% rise compared to the same period in 2021.

Offences of ‘unauthorised transactions’ and ‘violence’ were the largest contributors to the increases described above. A third (33%) of proven adjudications were for offences of ‘disobedience and disrespect’, with the next largest category being ‘unauthorised transactions’ (28%). The number of proven adjudications for ‘unauthorised transactions’ and ‘violence’ offences rose by 16% (to 7,117) and 8% (to 4,181) respectively on the same quarter of the previous year. This has been offset by a fall in other categories, in particular ‘wilful damage’ and ‘disobedience and disrespect’. They fell by 9% (to 2,688) and 6% (to 8,518) respectively on the same quarter of the previous year.

Recalls

There were 5,726 licence recalls between April and June 2022 –  a 7% increase on the same quarter in 2021.

Ethnicity proportions in quarterly recalls have remained relatively stable, with about 8 in 10 recalls being white, 8% being black and 5% being Asian.

There usually is more than one reason for recalling an offender on licence. Of recalls in April-June 2022, about 30% involved a charge of further offending, 72% involved non-compliance, 29% involved failure to keep in touch, and 24% involved failure to reside.

Between April and June 2022, 100 IPP prisoners and 54 prisoners serving a life sentence were rereleased, having previously been returned to custody for a breach of licence conditions. These together represent a decrease of 23% from the same quarter a year ago.

Probation trends

On 30 June 2022, there were 243,127 offenders supervised by the Probation Service (see the graphic below), representing a 5% increase compared to 30 June 2021 but a less than 1% increase compared to 31 March 2022.

Between the end of June 2021 and the end of June 2022, court order caseload increased by 12% from 102,767 to 115,456, with the number of offenders on a community order (CO) and those on a suspended sentence order (SSO) with requirements both increasing by 11% and 16% respectively.

The total caseload of offenders supervised before or after release from prison at the end of June 2022 was 132,396, representing an increase of 1% compared to the end of June 2021.

These figures represent the increase in court activity after the downturn caused by the pandemic. However, more recent figures show a downward trend

Between April to June 2022, the number of offenders starting court orders, specifically, decreased by 7% on the previous quarter and decreased by 6% compared to the same quarter a year ago. The number of offenders starting COs decreased by 8% to 15,468 compared to the previous quarter and decreased by 6% compared to the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, the number of offenders starting SSOs with requirements decreased by 6% to 8,138 compared to the previous quarter and decreased by 6% compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

The figures do show an increase in AAMRs, ATRs and DRRs. In terms of the most frequently used combinations of requirements, rehabilitation requirements combined separately with alcohol abstinence, alcohol treatment, and drug treatment requirements increased by 33%, 25% and 17% respectively under COs between April to June 2022 compared to the same period a year ago.

Approximately three quarters of supervision periods are successful. Of the 13,252 COs and 5,852 SSOs terminated between April and June 2022, 74% and 77% respectively were terminated successfully, i.e., ran their full course or were terminated early for good progress.

 

Thanks to Austin Distel for kind permission to use the header image in this post which was previously published on Unsplash.

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