Weekly Prison Watch

Latest prison population figures

Week ending Friday 25 July 2014

This week there are 85,730 people in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales. The male prison population is 81,802 and the female prison population is 3,928.

There are 69 more people in prison than last week. There are 1,678 more people compared to last year.

The child custody population for April 2014 was 1,105. The number of children in custody has fallen by 72 in the last month.

There are 50 girls in custody and 50 children aged 10-14.

The current CNA level is 76,017 meaning that 9,713 men and women are being held above this level. CNA (Certified Normal Accommodation) is the prison service’s own measure of how many prisoners can be held in decent and safe accommodation.

5 most overcrowded prisons

Prison name               

CNA / Population

Number over CNA

% of CNA

Swansea (HMPS)

242 / 451



Lincoln (HMPS)

403/ 697



Wandsworth (HMPS)

943 / 1623



Leicester (HMPS)

214 / 364



Exeter (HMPS)

318 / 536



The most recent set of quarterly statistics, which cover the period to 31 December 2013, show that:

  • 11,800 men, women and children are held on remand in prison
  • 6,863 people are serving short sentences (below 12 months)
  • 5,206 people are held on indeterminate IPP sentences, of whom 3,575 have passed their tariff expiry date

And that between October and December 2013:

  • 25,895 people were sent to prison in total, of whom:
  • 11,201 people were sent to prison to serve a short sentence (below 12 months)

Week by week prison population breakdown

A week by week breakdown from 2004 onwards.

Deaths in custody 2014

Between January 1 2014 and July 8 2014 there have been 99 deaths in custody of these:

  • 46 people died of natural causes
  • 43 deaths were self-inflicted
  • 1 death was a homicide
  • 9 deaths are yet to be classified

Deaths in custody annual report 2013

The Howard League routinely monitors all deaths in prisons. We have joined with a number of organisations to sign a letter to the Prime Minister, led by the charity Sense in Science, to raise awareness about the late registration of cause of death following a death requiring an inquest; there are still some deaths in prison dating back to 2010.


This update uses the most recent version of the following publications: