Record number of prisoners in 2003
Average prison population, England & Wales
The average prison population in England and Wales was just over 73,000 in 2003 – the highest annual figure ever recorded. It was over 28,000 more than in 1993, an increase of 64 per cent. In contrast, the number of prisoners was relatively stable during the 1980s and early 1990s.
The number of sentenced prisoners grew by 77 per cent between 1993 and 2003. This outpaced the growth in remand prisoners of 21 per cent.
There were 69,600 male prisoners and 4,400 female prisoners in November 2003. The number of female prisoners has risen at a faster rate than the number of male prisoners. This resulted in the proportion of males in the prison population falling from 96 per cent in 1997 to 94 per cent in 2003.
White males made up 83 per cent of the male prison population of British nationals in England and Wales in 2003. Black British nationals accounted for 12 per cent. The female British national prison population followed similar proportions.
The average daily prison population of Scotland was 6,524 in 2003, a 16 per cent increase since 1993. The average prison population of Northern Ireland was 1,160 in 2003, a 40 per cent fall over the same period.
Source: Home Office
Notes: Average prison population: includes prisoners held in police cells. Total population includes non-criminal prisoners.