HC Deb 19 February 1998 vol 306 cc853-4W
Ms Roseanna Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what projections he has made of the prison population of Scotland in each year to 2003; and if he will indicate the basis on which the projections are made. [29942]

Mr. McLeish

The latest projections of the prison population which are being used by the Scottish Prison Service for planning purposes are (April to March years):

  • 1997–1998: 6,200
  • 1998–1999: 6,350
  • 1999–2000: 6,500
  • 2000–2001: 6,600

The methodology for projecting future prison population is based on an analysis of historical trends (calculated by linear regression) of receptions into custody from courts. The trends are projected forward for future years. The specific variables considered in the analysis are age of offender, main offence type, sentence length and time served in custody. In addition, any policy or legislative changes which may impact on future prisoner numbers are factored in as necessary. The figures are slightly lower than those contained in the Scottish Prison Service's Corporate Plan, published in July 1997.

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