• Between 2002 and 2014, the number of prisoners aged 60 and over increased by 146%.
  • The proportion of prisoners aged 40 and over increased from 20% in 2004 to 30% in 2014.

Black and minority ethnic groups

  • Eight in 10 investigations into alleged racial discrimination by police officers result in no further action being taken.
  • BME prisoners make up of a quarter of the prison population despite representing only 12.4 % of the general population aged 18 and over.
  • The proportion of Muslim prisoners increased from 9.7 % in 2004 to 14.1 % in 2014.


  • The prison population is projected to surpass 90,000 by 2020.
  • The prison population has increased by 20% since 2002 and has nearly doubled since 1993.
  • At the end of September 2014, 80 of the 118 prisons in England and Wales were overcrowded.
  • The number of people dealt with by the criminal justice system for the first time fell by over 50% from 2007 to 2014. (38% for adults and 81% for juveniles)
  • But the numbers of people prosecuted, convicted and sentenced have all increased in the last year.
  • In 2004 35% of sentenced offenders received a community sentence. That number fell to 21% in 2014.
  • Fines make up 70% of sentencing outcomes.


  • A total of 34,863 complaints were recorded during 2013/14. This is a 15% increase compared to 2012/13 and represents a 52% increase since 2004/05.
  • The number of police officers in the 43 police forces fell by 1.3% from 2013 to 2014 to 127,909. Police officers from minority ethnic groups make up 5.2% of the police officer total.

Prison violence

  • There were 76 self inflicted deaths from April 2014 to March 2015.
  • Incidents of assaults in 2014 increased to 16,196, up 10% from 2013.
  • There were 25,775 reported incidents of self-harm, up 11% from 2013.


  • Prisoners on remand make up approximately 14% of the prison population.
  • Last year, 48,330 were remanded into custody. 32,011 remained on remand awaiting sentence having been convicted.
  • Of those remanded in custody who appear in the Crown Court approximately 77% go on to receive custodial sentences. This figure falls to 30% for those sentenced in magistrates' courts.


  • Approximately 26.2% of all individuals cautioned, convicted or released from custody reoffend.
  • 45.2% of adults who serve sentences go on to reoffend and are apprehended after being released. For adults who serve sentences of less than 12 months the rate of reoffending is 58.3%, compared to 33.9% for those who served sentences of 12 months or more.
  • The reoffending rate for offenders sentenced to less than 12 months in custody in 2010 was 6.8% higher than for similar, matched offenders receiving a court order (either a community order or a suspended order).


  • Women make up less than 5% of the total prison population.
  • Women are more than 7 times as likely as men to self-harm in prison.
  • In 2013 45% of female offenders convicted for indictable offences were convicted for shoplifting.
  • TV licence evasion made up 36% of female convictions in 2013, compared to 5% for men.

Young people

  • The average number of young people in custody has fallen by over 50% since 2004.