Coronavirus (COVID-19): Justice Analytical Services data report - December 2021

This pack provides information on the impact of COVID-19 on the Justice system during December 2021.

Data has been gathered from a number of different sources and may be subject to future revision.

This document is part of a collection

Prison population

While the overall prison population is lower than pre-pandemic levels, the number of people held on remand remains at a historic high. The changing levels across groups that are required by law to be housed separately – like those on remand – pose increasing difficulties in the management of the prison population.

In December 2021 (up until the morning of Saturday 1st January 2022):

  • the population decreased by 128 to 7,491
  • 2,135 were on remand: 1,825 (24%) untried and 310 (4%) awaiting sentence
  • 65% of arrivals were untried (505 of 777), and 19% awaiting sentence (148)

The remand population grew through October and November, again exceeding its previous peak. On 23 November the remand population was 2,272 – 30% – is the highest daily number on record. The specific needs of remand prisoners means this changing population profile poses additional challenges to staff and estate.

In line with previous years, overall numbers and remand populations fell during December, hitting a low of 7,433 (2,061 remand) over Christmas.

Chart: Total prison population
Line graph showing that the total prison population has returned to January 2021 levels.
Chart: Remand population
Line graph showing that the number of people held on remand remains at a historic high level.

Remand Arrival Offences

There were 604 un-sentenced arrivals to prison with known offence types in November, awaiting trial or sentence for the following alleged offences.

Chart: Index offence category on entry of un-sentenced arrivals
Bar chart showing remand arrivals by offence type, with the highest number of (Untried) arrivals for common assault.

Note: Double-counting may occur where an individual arrives, is absent from prison for one or more nights in the month, and then returns before the end of the period. Where an individual has multiple alleged offence types in a single stint, the offence towards the top of the list in the chart is used as the index offence.

Further Information: Latest published Annual Prison Population Statistics



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