Documents to download

This paper provides background statistics on prisons and courts in England and Wales ahead of the Second Reading of the Prisons and Courts Bill 2016-17.

Commons Library Briefing Paper SN04334: Prison Population Statistics (currently being updated) explores prison population data for England and Wales in more depth and includes data for the rest of the UK.

Prison Population

As at 31 December 2016:

  • The total prison population was 84,307.
  • The most frequent length of sentence being served was typically a sentence over 4 years.
  • Violence against the person (VATP) offences accounted for the highest proportion of prisoners. Sexual, theft and drug offences each accounted for approximately 15% of the reason offenders were in prison.
  • There were just under 10,000 foreign nationals within the prison population. Those originating from the European Union (excluding the UK) accounted for 43% of all foreign nationals in prison and just under 5% of the total prison population.
  • 69% (80) of prison establishments were overcrowded.


Prison Safety

In the 12 months to September 2016:

  • There were just over 25,000 prisoner assault incidents within prisons, a 31% increase the figure to September 2015.
  • There were 6,430 assaults on prison staff, 761 of which were serious. This was an 82% rise on the number of assaults on prison staff in 2006 and was a 40% increase from 2015.
  • There were over 37,750 self-harm incidents. This was an increase of 61% compared to September 2006 and an increase of 23% compared to 2015.
  • In the 12 months to December 2016 there were 354 deaths of prisoners in custody. Around 55% of the deaths were through natural causes, 34% were self-inflicted, 10% were classed as other (including those awaiting for further information on cause of death) and 1% were the result of homicide.

Documents to download

Related posts