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Prison Costs

Volume 929: debated on Thursday 7 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report a breakdown of the cost of keeping a person in prison; and what action he has taken, or intends to take, to reduce these costs by reducing the number of amenities to prisoners.

A breakdown of expenditure on the Prison Service, including the annual average cost per inmate in four categories of establishment, appears annually in the report on the work of the Prison Department: the last published Report (Cmnd. 6523) gave details of costs in 1974–75. As shown in Cmnd. 6721 and earlier White Papers on Public Expenditure, the Prison Service has been required to make economies on prison building and to restrict staff growth. These constraints, coupled with limitation on overtime working, have adversely affected prisoner employment, recreation and amenity.