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Literacy: Prisoners

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of prisoners were recorded as illiterate over the last 10 years. (148113)

The numbers and proportion of prisoners whose reading was assessed at reception as being below Level 1, which could be used as a proxy for functionally illiteracy, is recorded as follows:

Prisoners whose reading was assessed as below level 1:

Number

Proportion (%)

1997-98

39,643

27.5

1998-99

47,298

26.8

1999-2000

89,623

30.5

2000-01

89,623

30.9

2001-02

94,248

34.1

2002-03

96,589

36.9

The information is taken from the ‘Prison Statistics for England and Wales’, an annual publication produced by the Home Office until 2003.