§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what projections he has made of the prison population in each year to 2005. 213W
§ Ms Quin
The figures requested are given in the table. The projection on which the table is based is the central or regression projection which assumes that trends in sentencing which have been observed over the last 20 or so years continue. Alternative scenarios are available which give a prison population by 2005 of 92,600 (custody rates increase at about the rate observed between 1992 and 1996, or of 64,400 (custody rates and sentence lengths remain at 1997 levels). The latest long term projections of the prison population in England and Wales were published in a Home Office Statistical Bulletin issue 2/98) on 29 January 1998. The bulletin describes the methodology of the projections in more detail.
Projected prison population 1998–2005 Total prison population in England and Wales by year—central projection Year Number 1998 65,000 1999 69,600 2000 72,200 2001 73,700 2002 75,800 2003 78,000 2004 80,400 2005 82,800