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Prisoners: Per Capita Costs

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on average per prisoner for (a) education, (b) provision of televisions, games consoles and computers in cells and (c) food in each year since 1997. (187448)

The requested annual figures for prisoners in English and Welsh public sector prisons are as follows:

Financial yearSpend1 per prisoner on:Number of in-cell T/V sets purchased

Education2 (£)

Food3 (£)

1997-98

616

497

1998-99

669

549

10,388

1999-2000

764

545

4,938

2000-01

882

600

13,580

2001-02

966

636

8,488

2002-03

1,114

626

12,616

2003-04

1,789

661

5,975

2004-05

1,763

681

13,791

2005-06

2,037

702

9,171

2006-07

2,047

722

12,450

1 Rounded to the nearest

2 For 2001-02 to 2006-07 inclusive—based on DIUS (and its predecessors') spend on education and training for public prisons in England and Wales (adults, young offenders and juveniles) and includes libraries and funding provided for Heads of Learning and Skills in prisons. For 1997-98 to 2000-01 - based on HMPS spend on a similar basis and also includes libraries and education materials. This figure does not capture all education and training costs that occur in areas such as prison workshops as it is not possible to separate out specific costs relating to these activities in these functions as they are an integral part of the service.

3 Cost of food not cost of catering. Figures for 1997-98; 1998-99 and 1999-2000 are partly based on the estimated cost of providing fresh produce internally via prison farms and gardens.

Full expenditure data on games consoles and computers in cells is not held centrally and the collection of this information would be at disproportionate cost.

Since 1998 there has been a programme of purchasing television sets for prisoners' use in their cells. The number of sets purchased, in these circumstances is shown in the table with the exception of 1998-99 when £500,000 of public funds were used to start up the In-Cell TV initiative, all of these sets have been funded from the weekly rental charges collected from prisoners.