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Prisoners: Per Capita Costs

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost of keeping a person in prison was (a) in each year since 1997 and (b) in the latest period for which figures are available. (295817)

The average direct establishment cost of keeping a person in prison for the years since 1997 is shown in the following table:

Average cost per prisoner

£

2006-07

26,737

2005-06

26,993

2004-05

26,412

2003-04

25,718

2002-03

24,241

2001-02

23,105

2000-01

23,292

1999-2000

21,751

1998-99

20,502

For these years the average costs comprise the public sector establishments' direct resource expenditure as published in the Annual Report and Accounts of Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS).

For the last two years (2008-09 and 2007-08) an overall cost per prisoner including prison related costs met by NOMS outside of HMPS has been calculated as follows:

Overall average cost per prisoner

£

2008-09

41,000

2007-08

39,000

The overall average costs comprise the public sector establishments' direct resource expenditure, increased by an apportionment of costs borne centrally by HMPS and the National Offender Management Service; and the resource expenditure of contracted-out prisons also increased by certain costs borne centrally. This involves some estimation. 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.