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Prison watch

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

83,383 prisoners in England and Wales

This week there are 83,383 people in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales

View 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 74,903 people. There are currently 8,480 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.

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