Prison population and planning for the future


Prison barbed wire

The Justice Select Committee is currently holding an inquiry on prison population and planning for the future, which closed on 4 December 2017.

The purpose of this inquiry is to find out:

  • Who is in prison and who is expected to be imprisoned over the next five years
  • The reasons prisoners are there, why they stay there and why they return
  • Whether the Ministry of Justice and prison services currently have a credible approach to accommodating the changes anticipated.

While the MA welcomes the fact that such matters are the subject of consultation, the call for evidence (which has now closed) fell outside the MA's remit. In sentencing offenders and considering whether custody is necessary in any given case, magistrates use the Sentencing Council guidelines and are also assisted by the provision of pre-sentence reports where appropriate.

However, the MA has used this opportunity to draw attention to a number of issues. Click here to see full position statement.

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