The Ministry of Justice is responsible for prisons in England and Wales only and does not hold or collate overall UK prison spend. Responsibility for prisons in Scotland and Northern Ireland lies with the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive respectively.
For prisons in England and Wales the overall resource expenditure, which includes net expenditure met at regional or national level, recorded in the annual accounts of HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) for financial year 2017-18 was £3,180,266,865. This includes public and contracted prisons.
The Ministry does not collate or hold direct economic or international comparisons for these figures.
GDP data is held for the UK as a whole. As prison spend and GDP information are held on different bases it is not possible to use HMPPS prison spend to estimate the proportion of GDP spent on prisons for England and Wales. The Office for National Statistics reports a nominal, seasonally adjusted UK figure of £2,059,331m as at 9 November 2018 which can be used as context. This information can be accessed at:
Additional information on prison expenditure for prisons can be accessed on the Prison and Probation Performance Statistics pages for each financial year on the www.gov.uk website. The most recent published figures for financial year 2017-18 can be accessed via the following link: