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Prisons: Overcrowding

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what definition of overcrowded accommodation his Department uses in respect of prisons; and what percentage of prisoners in England and Wales have been held in overcrowded accommodation in each of the last five years. (296844)

The definition of overcrowding in prisons is the total number of prisoners who, at unlock on the last day of the month, are held in a cell, cubicle or room where the number of occupants exceeds the uncrowded capacity of the cell, cubicle or room. This includes the number of prisoners held two to a single cell, three prisoners in a cell designed for two and any prisoners held overcrowded in larger cells or dormitories. If an establishment’s population exceeds its total in-use CNA at the end of the month then this constitutes overcrowding.

The percentage of prisoners in England and Wales held in overcrowded accommodation in each of the last five years is:

Percentage

2004-05

24.3

2005-06

24.0

2006-07

24.6

2007-08

25.3

2008-09

24.7