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Prison population projections bulletins are released annually by the Ministry of Justice. The next projections are due in August this year.
The most recent bulletin, from 29 August 2019, forecasts that the adult male population will be 76,900 in June 2021, and the female adult population will be 3,700 in June 2021.
As they were published in August last year, these projections do not factor in the impact of measures to contain COVID-19, although we do not expect COVID-19 to significantly affect the underlying drivers of the longer-term population.
In order to ensure we have sufficient space for those sentenced to custody, we are investing up to £2.5 billion to provide 10,000 additional prison places over the next 6 years. Further construction already taking place, for example at Wellingborough and Glen Parva, will deliver another 3,500 places by 2023.