Rate of growth in prison population down by 4%

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The rate at which Scotland’s prison population is growing has dropped from 6% in 2008-09 to 2% in 2009-10.

The figures released today are revealed in Prison Statistics Scotland 2009-10 which is compiled by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

The report contains information on the Scottish prison population, including daily average population by type of custody and establishment, characteristics of prisoners, and numbers of receptions to / liberations from penal establishments.

The findings show that Scotland’s prison population now sits at 7,964 of whom 6,441 are sentenced offenders.  The sentenced population continues to show a steady increase of five per cent overall, mainly due to increases in the medium term population with sentences of six months to four years.

The figures also show that short term sentences under 6 months fell sharply by 10 per cent continuing the downward trend observed since 2006-07.

On 30 June 2009, the crime category with the largest population of sentenced prisoners was non-sexual violent crime (36 per cent), followed by drugs-related crimes (14 per cent). There is no substantive change from the previous year.