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Prisoners

Justice written question – answered on 18th January 2011.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost per prisoner to his Department is of a category C prisoner in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

The average direct establishment cost per prisoner and per prison place in category C establishments is as follows:

Direct public sector establishment expenditure 2008- 09
Category C establishments £
Cost per prisoner 22,713
Cost per prison place 23,541

The costs comprise the public sector establishments' direct resource expenditure as published in the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) annual report and accounts. This is only expenditure met locally at each establishment.

The costs represent the total cost per place/prisoner at each prison where the majority use at the end of each year was for category C prisoners. There is no adjustment for prisons holding prisoners of more than one category.

For 2008-09 an overall cost per place/prisoner which also includes prison related costs met by NOMS at regional and national level has been calculated as follows:

Total overall cost of public and private establishments 2008-09
Category C establishments £
Cost per prisoner 36,330
Cost per prison place 37,656

The overall average cost for 2008-09 comprises the expenditure on public and private prisons (as recorded in the NOMS agency annual report and accounts), increased by an apportionment of relevant costs borne centrally and in the regions by NOMS. This involves some estimation. The figures do not include the cost of prisoners held in police or court cells under Operation Safeguard, nor expenditure met by other Government Departments (eg Health and Education). The prisoner escort service costs are included. Expenditure recharged to the Youth Justice Board in respect of young people is included.

Cost per prison place is expressed in terms of the certified normal accommodation number of places; this gives a higher unit cost than the cost per prisoner.

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