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While you’re here, can you help support our work by making a donation? We are an independent charity and rely on donations to continue our work for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. Please help us secure our future by donating and adding your voice to our movement for change.

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Prison watch

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

82,949 prisoners in England and Wales

This week there are 82,949 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 75,346 people. There are currently 7,603 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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