Skip Content

Prison watch

Our weekly prison watch provides figures on the prison population from the Ministry of Justice.

86,252 prisoners in England and Wales

This week there are 86,252 people in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales

View prison overcrowding →

Weekly prison population

Men and women in prison

Overcrowding

Prisons are extremely overcrowded. Under the Ministry of Justice’s own definition of safety and decency, the prison estate should not hold more than 75,991 people. There are currently 10,244 men and women held above this level. Overcrowding is not evenly distributed across the prison estate, so some prisons hold many more people than they are designed to do so safely. You can find out more about which prisons are overcrowded and by how much on this page.

  • Join us

    Add your voice to our movement for change. Every voice counts and we hope that you will add yours.

    Join us today
  • Support our work

    Everything we do is focused on achieving less crime, safer communities, fewer people in prison. We need you to act now for penal reform.

    Ways to support