Our weekly prison watch provides figures on the prison population from the Ministry of Justice.
Prisons are extremely overcrowded. Under the Ministry of Justice’s own definition of safety and decency, the prison estate should not hold more than 76,299 people. There are currently 8,637 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.