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The Department routinely publishes average costs per prisoner and prison place, based on actual net resource expenditure for each private and public sector prison and in summary form for the whole of the prison estate in England and Wales on an annual basis after the end of each financial year. This includes a breakdown of these costs by prison category and individual prison within each category.
The most recently published figures are for financial year 2012-13 which give an annual Direct cost per prisoner of £38,990 for male young offenders institutions (YOI) and £24,541 for male adult prisons for public and private prisons. This is the latest information available. Prisons are classified according to their major use as at 31st March 2013. YOIs include those with major use offenders up to age 21; adult prisons are those with major use over age 21.
Direct costs are those accounted for at each prison cost centre and exclude expenditure met at regional or national level.
The information for financial year 2012-13 is available in the Cost per Place and Prisoner and Supplementary Information files on the Department’s website at:
Figures for 2013-14 are due to be published alongside the Management Information Addendums to the NOMS Annual Report and Accounts in October 2014.
Continuing to reduce prison unit costs is one of the key targets for the Department. Between 2009/10 and 2012/13 prison unit costs (based on Overall prison costs) have reduced in real terms by 16% per place and 13% per prisoner. The Department is committed to delivering prison changes designed to modernise the prison estate and further reduce prison costs.