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Latest prison statistics

Scotland’s Chief Statistician has published Prison Statistics Scotland 2010-11. This 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 main findings are:

– After the steady increase observed since 2000-01, the prison population has dropped slightly to an annual daily average of 7,853 for 2010-11. This represents a fall of 1% from the previous year, although levels remain very high in relation to the current design capacity of about 7,330. The most recent population projections published in March 2011 continue to suggest a longer-term upward trend, reaching 9,500 by 2019-20.

– The current dip is primarily due to marked drops in the young offender population for both remand and direct sentenced prisoners by 14 and 17% respectively.

– The sentenced population has dropped by 1% overall, reaching 6,378 in 2010-11. This is due to a decrease across most sentence groups, apart from the life sentence and recall populations which have increased by 5 and 10% respectively.


– During 2010-11, the average daily population decreased by 2% to 7,419 for men, while the female population increased by 3% to 435.

– The crime category with the largest population of sentenced prisoners was non-sexual violent crime (36%), followed by the other crimes category (21%). This category consisted mainly of drugs-related crimes, which make up 14% of the total. This pattern is identical to that from the previous year.

– The incarceration rate per 100,000 population is highest for Glasgow (348) and Dundee (316), followed by West Dunbartonshire (281). North and East Ayrshire, Inverclyde and North Lanarkshire also have relatively high imprisonment rates. Aberdeenshire has the lowest rate (61), followed by East Dunbartonshire (62), East Renfrewshire (65), and Orkney and East Lothian (both 66).