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Women’s Prisons

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many UK institutions held adult female prisoners in each year since 1992; and if he will make a statement; (129703)

(2) how many prison places were available for adult female prisoners in each year since 1992; and if he will make a statement.

The Home Secretary is responsible only for prisons in England and Wales. Responsibility for prisons in Scotland and Northern Ireland lies with the Scottish Assembly and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland respectively.

The following table shows the number of prisons in England and Wales that held adult women prisoners in June each year since 1992.

Number of prisons

1992

12

1993

12

1994

12

1995

13

1996

14

1997

15

1998

17

1999

16

2000

16

2001

17

2002

19

2003

19

2004

19

2005

19

2006

16

The number of prison places available for adult women prisoners in each year since 1992 is shown in the following table:

Adult female CNA1 places2

1992

1,765

1993

1,782

1994

1,731

1995

1,928

1996

2,028

1997

2,515

1998

2,829

1999

2,899

2000

3,092

2001

3,275

2002

4,063

2003

4,225

2004

4,440

2005

4,604

2006

4,457

1 CNA—Certified Normal Accommodation, or uncrowded capacity, is the Prison Service’s own measure of accommodation.

2 Operational capacity figures for adult female prisons only are not available. Operational capacity is determined for the whole prison, and cannot be sub-divided for different population groups, such as adult female prisoners.