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Prisoners: Per Capita Costs

Justice written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost per year is of accommodating a prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

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

The average annual overall cost per prisoner in England and Wales for financial year 2010-11 is £37,000 (to nearest £1,000). The cost of a prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) is not separately calculated.

Average prisoner costs are calculated for each prison establishment and grouped by prison function on the basis of the major use of each prison. The calculations do not analyse costs by type of sentence or prisoner, and as a prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence may be held in prison establishments of different functions during the course of the sentence, an average cost for a prisoner serving an IPP is not available.

The calculation for cost per prisoner is based on net resource expenditure related to prisons included in the annual accounts of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) expressed in terms of the average prison population. This includes some estimation. Expenditure which is met by other Government Departments, such as expenditure on health and education, is not included. Expenditure recharged to the Youth Justice Board in respect of young people is included.

Indeterminate sentence prisoners may be held in any prison providing it is appropriate to the security category of the prisoner and is best placed to meet the next identified need in the sentence plan.

Full details of average cost per prisoner by prison function for financial year 2010-11 can be accessed from the Ministry of Justice website under Management Information Addendum at the following link:


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