HC Deb 24 March 1998 vol 309 c100W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners per 1,000 population there are in England; and what assessment he has made of the factors underlying the differences in the number of prisoners per 1,000 population in(a) England and (b) Scotland. [35193]

Ms Quin

The latest available provisional information is for 1 September 1996 and shows that in England and Wales there were 1.07 prisoners per 1,000 population compared with 1.15 in Scotland. Within the sentencing framework set by Parliament, who is sent to prison and for how long is a matter for the courts. Different legal systems operate in England and Wales and in Scotland. The respective sentencing framework of each legal system may be a contributory factor in the difference between the countries in the number of prisoners per 1,000 population.