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Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his most recent estimate of the average cost per year of keeping an offender in (a) an adult prison, (b) a young offender institution and (c) a secure training centre is. (251160)

The overall average resource cost per offender (prisoner) in England and Wales in 2007-08 was:


(a) adult prisons


(b) young offender institutions (YOI)


(c) secure training centres



Figures to the nearest £500

The average costs for adult prisons and YOIs comprise (a) the public sector establishments' direct resource expenditure as published in the “Annual Report and Accounts of Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS)”, increased by an apportionment of costs borne centrally by HMPS and the National Offender Management Service and (b) the resource expenditure of contracted-out prisons also increased by certain costs borne centrally. This involves some estimation. Income from the Youth Justice Board (YJB) in respect of services recharged to the YJB is excluded in order to show the overall cost to the Ministry of Justice. The figures do not include prisoners held in police and court cells under Operation Safeguard, nor expenditure met by other Government Departments (e.g. for health and education). The prisoner escort service is included.

The YOI figure comprises male open and male closed establishments. Adult includes all other establishments except male juvenile category.

The categorisation of costs into adult prisons and Young Offender Institutions is based on the main category of the prison establishment as at 31 March 2008, not on the mix of offenders in the establishments. So for example, where an establishment is primarily adult but has a young offender population, the young offender costs are not separately identified.

The secure training centre cost includes education, healthcare and VAT.

There are a number of factors which will cause differences in prison costs, such as the size, age, location and category of the prison, the mix of prisoners (including gender and age) and the internal regime and rehabilitation work followed.