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Prison watch

This page provides helpful information about the number of people in prison in England and Wales. Figures for the prison population as a whole are published each week by the Ministry of Justice. Data for individual prisons are provided monthly.

81,051 prisoners in England and Wales

There are 81,051 people in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales. Sensible steps to reduce this number would make communities safer, by easing pressure on the system and enabling more people in trouble to get the support they need to move on from crime.

Prisoners return from their jobs to their wings at Wandsworth priso

Overcrowding

When someone is in trouble with the law, we should do all that we can to guide them away from crime. This is harder to achieve in prison, especially when jails are overcrowded. According to the Ministry of Justice's own figures, known as certified normal accommodation (CNA), prisons in England and Wales should be holding no more than 77,881 people – the current prison population exceeds that level by 3,170. Sensible steps to reduce the number of people in prison would save lives, protect staff and prevent crime.

Find out how many people are held in your nearest prison →
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