Prison Accommodation

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 20th July 2021.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the UK's prison capacity is; and how many prisoners there are.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisons are running at or above full capacity.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans the Government has to increase prison capacity.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

On Friday 09th July the total prison population was 78,489 and the total useable operational capacity of the prison estate was 81,138.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) publishes monthly individual prison population and capacity information through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prison-population-statistics. There are no prisons operating over their operational capacity in England and Wales. The operational capacity of a prison is the total number of prisoners that an establishment can hold taking into account control, security and the proper operation of the planned regime. It is determined by the prison group directors on the basis of operational judgement and experience.

We have committed over £4 billion towards the delivery of 18,000 additional prison places by the mid-2020s. We will create these 18,000 additional prison places through the construction of four new prisons, the expansion of a further four prisons, the delivery of up to 500 additional places in the women’s estate, the refurbishment of the existing prison estate, the completion of our ongoing prison builds at Glen Parva and HMP Five Wells, and other programmes.

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