HC Deb 15 May 1916 vol 82 cc1142-3W

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the number of persons in prison had decreased during the War; whether he can state the figures at convenient intervals; and whether any prisons have been closed, and, if so, which?


The present prison population, compared with that of two years ago shows a marked decrease. The figures are as follows:—

May, 1914. May, 1916.
Local Prisons 13,667 6,904
Convict Prisons and Preventive Detention Prisons 2,876 2,103
Borstal Institutions 937 564

The prisons at Brecon, Chelmsford, Devizes, Hereford, Knutsford, St. Albans, and Stafford have been closed and lent to the War Office; some wings at Wandsworth Prison have been lent to the War Office, and Wakefield will be handed over shortly to the same Department. Reading Prison is closed for ordinary committals, and is being utilised for the detention of aliens. The Borstal Institution at Feltham has been closed, and lent to the War Office as a place of internment. The closing of five other prisons is under consideration.