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Custodial Treatment

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost to the public purse was of detaining (a) an adult and (b) a person under the age of 21 years old in custody for a year on the latest date for which figures are available. (323745)

For 2008-09, for prison establishments managed by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the average cost per prisoner in an “adult” prison (for this purpose adult is over 21 years) was £39,600 and in a young offender institution was £53,400.

The above average costs comprise 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. Where the costs of young people are recharged by NOMS to the YJB, expenditure is shown gross and not reduced by income from the YJB. Where a site includes adults and prisoners under 21, costs are allocated to the major use.

Secure training centres and secure children's homes, the responsibility of the YJB, also fall into the under 21 years category. The YJB calculates annual figures for the cost of places in each type of establishment in the under-18 secure estate. As at 1 April 2009, these were as follows:

Average annual cost per place (£)

Secure children’s home


Secure training centre



VAT is not included in these figures