Sharp rise in the number of prisoners in England and Wales
The organization, Prison Reform Trust, has just issued a brief document presenting key-figures about incarceration in England and Wales, which shows the highest imprisonment rate in Western Europe. But there is more, and the findings are not inspiring.
The number of prisoners has extraordinarily increased. The prison population has risen by 77% in the past thirty years. It comes as the result of an increasing use of custodial measures (especially for petty offences), regardless of the severity of the crime.
The whole system is under a lot of pressure
People stay incarcerated for longer sentences. When compared to a decade ago, now-a-days more than three times as many people are sentenced to 10 years or more in prison.
The organization reports that nearly 65,000 people were sent to prison in 2017, of those 71% were convicted of a non-violent offence.
Overcrowding. From 2016-2017, 21,000 people were held in overcrowded accommodations – representing almost a quarter of the total prison population. The organization underlines that “this level of overcrowding has remained broadly unchanged for the last 14 years”.
Safety. Budget cuts result in staff shortages. The ratio between the number of inmates and those of prison officers prompt the occurrence of assaults and violent behaviours. The whole system is under a lot of pressure. Understaffed and overcrowded facilities impair the state of prisoners, who are then more likely to harm themselves. Self-inflicted deaths occur about 5.1 times more in prisons than in the general population.
To read more about the situation in England and Wales(remand prisoners, minorities in prison, elderly prisoners, life and indeterminate sentences, children in prison, rehabilitation and reoffending rates…), please read the Bromley briefings — Summer 2018 by PRT.
Edited by Kelly Field.
prisoners held in overcrowded accomodations
Prison Reform Trust
The Prison Reform Trust is an independent UK charity working to create a fair, humane and effective penal system.