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Life Imprisonment

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners were serving life sentences as of 1 February 2008; and how many were serving such sentences on that day or the nearest date for which figures are available in (a) 1998 and (b) 1988. (187257)

At the end of December 2007, the latest date for which the information is available, there were 6,700 prisoners serving life sentences in prison establishments in England and Wales. Equivalent figures for December 1998 and 1988 are not available however, at the end of (a) June 1998 there were 3,950 and (b) June 1988 there were 2,500 prisoners serving life sentences in prison establishments in England and Wales.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing, and so have been rounded to the nearest 50.