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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.

79,643 prisoners in England and Wales

This week there are 79,643 people in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales. Reducing this number would help to protect people living and working in prisons during the coronavirus pandemic, and make us all safer in the long term.

Prisoners return from their jobs to their wings at Wandsworth priso


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 75,689 people – the current prison population exceeds that level by 3,954. 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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