Women's Prisons

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 1st March 2021.

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Photo of Bambos Charalambous Bambos Charalambous Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's press release, Extra funding for organisations that steer women away from crime, published on 23 January 2021, if will publish the Programme business case for the 500 new prison places to be built in existing women's prisons.

Photo of Bambos Charalambous Bambos Charalambous Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the announcement on the 23 January 2021 that up to 500 new prison places will be built in existing women’s prisons, if his Department will publish the modelling used in the programme’s Strategic Case that the recruitment of an extra 20,000 police officers is expected to cause a temporary increase in the female prison population.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Our prison population projections published in November last year, show that the female prison population is projected to rise by around two-fifths by 2026 (1,300 women) with most of that rise coming in the next two years. Our projections took in to consideration the impact of the planned recruitment of a further 23,400 police officers – which is likely to increase charge volumes and future prison populations.

Our projections further assumed the future gender composition of the prison population will be broadly consistent with the pre-COVID 19 composition, although there is a fair degree of uncertainty here however particularly due to the additional police recruitment. As such we modelled a total of four scenarios which included a 20% higher/lower throughput from the Police and a fast court recovery scenario. Table 2.1 and 4.1 taken from our prison population projections, illustrate this below:

Table 2.1 below shows the two extra scenarios of a lower and a higher impact police scenario for both men and women.

Central Scenario

Lower Police Scenario

Higher Police Scenario

Fast Court Recovery Scenario

September 2020

79,235

79,235

79,235

79,235

September 2021

83,200

83,000

83,500

85,900

September 2022

88,100

87,200

89,100

88,600

September 2023

93,000

91,300

94,700

91,900

September 2024

96,000

93,800

98,300

94,900

September 2025

97,700

95,000

100,300

97,000

September 2026

98,700

95,900

101,600

98,400

All figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Components may not sum due to rounding.

Table 4.1 below shows the projections separately for children, females over 18 years and males over 18 specifically for the central scenario.

Total

Children

Female 18+

Male 18+

September 2020

79,235

395

3,217

75,623

September 2021

83,200

600

3,800

78,900

September 2022

88,100

600

4,100

83,500

September 2023

93,000

700

4,300

88,100

September 2024

96,000

700

4,400

90,900

September 2025

97,700

700

4,500

92,500

September 2026

98,700

700

4,500

93,500

All figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Components may not sum due to rounding.

Both tables are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-population-projections-2020-to-2026

The business case has not yet reached a position where it could be published. We intend to continue dialogue with stakeholders as to how best to meet the needs of those women sentenced to a custodial sentence

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