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Prison Places: Expenditure

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost to the public purse was of a place in prison in each of the last three years. (319561)

The average direct prison cost per prison place in each of the last three financial years is as follows:

Financial year

£

2008-09

30,000

2007-08

31,000

2006-07

30,000

The direct prison cost is only the expenditure met locally by prisons. It does not include expenditure met at area, regional, or national level by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) or the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The figure for 2008-09 includes private prisons and is net of income from the Department of Health and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

For the last two years (2008-09 and 2007-08) an overall average cost per prison place including prison related costs met by NOMS, in addition to the direct prison cost, has been calculated as:

Financial year

£

2008-09

45,000

2007-08

43,000

The overall average cost for 2008-09 comprises the expenditure on public and private prisons (as recorded in the NOMS agency annual report and accounts), increased by an apportionment of relevant costs borne centrally and in the regions by NOMS. This involves some estimation. In addition, expenditure met centrally by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) is included. The figures do not include the cost of prisoners held in police or court cells under Operation Safeguard, nor expenditure met by other Government Departments (e.g. Health and Education). The prisoner escort service costs are included. Expenditure recharged to the YJB in respect of young people is included.

The overall cost for 2007-08 was calculated on a broadly similar basis. Cost per prison place is expressed in terms of the certified normal accommodation number of places; this gives a higher unit cost than the cost per prisoner. Figures to nearest £1,000.