As a new report calls on the prison population to be cut by a third, figures reveal Britain is second only to the US in its prisoners-per-population ratio.
The cross-party Justice Committee today published a report calling for the prison population to be cut by a third, and the extent of British prisons policy is highlighted by the international context.
The eighth edition of the World Prison Population List, produced by King’s College London’s International Centre for Prison Studies, which details the number of prisoners per 100,000 of the population, shows the UK (153) entrenched in second place amongst G7 countries, behind only the USA (756). The UK is also ahead of Turkey (142), Burma (126) and Pakistan (55).
The Justice Committee’s report prioritises the transfer of female prisoners, repeat low-level offenders, drug and alcohol addicts and prisoners will mental illnesses, urging rehabilitation closer to the communities to which they struggle to return.
The Ministry of Justice, however, is working on a £4.2bn prison building plan which, at £170,000 per place, is set to propel the United Kingdom past most of our Eastern European neighbours. Numbers fluctuate but in 16 years the United Kingdom, with an imprisonment rate of 153 per 100,000 of the population, has become the top incarcerator in Western Europe.
This despite the reduction in crimes recorded over the past ten years, and the Government’s expansion of the role of community punishments. Neither has translated into an effective reduction in the prison population, rather the prison population has kept up with prison building, a market judged by Premier Custodial Group to be worth £2 billion annually, with immediate market opportunities worth a further £3.4 billion now in the offing.
As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.