HC Deb 03 March 1987 vol 111 cc535-6W
Sir Edward Gardner

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the change in the size of the prison population in England and Wales from February 1985 to September 1986; and what information he has about the relevant figures for other member states of the EEC.

Mr. Mellor

Between 28 February 1985 and 30 September 1986 the population of Prison Department establishments increased by 1,800 (4 per cent.), which is equivalent to about 2,000 after allowing for normal seasonal variation. Information on the prison population in other member states of the European Community is published twice a year by the Council of Europe in its Prison Information Bulletin, copies of which are held in the Library.

The information for different countries is not comparable because the definitions of prisons and prisoners vary between countries and such differences may have a substantial effect on the comparisons. However, the most recent information indicates substantially greater growth in the three years ending February 1986 in every country in the EEC except Germany and Spain when compared with England and Wales.