1. This bulletin is part of a series on the criminal justice system, and shows data up to 2009-10 on Scottish prison population level and characteristics, as well as information on receptions to Scottish prisons and international comparisons.
Chart 1 Average daily prison population (Scotland): 1900 to 2009-10
2. The figures for 2009-10 follow the sustained increase observed in the prison population since 2000-01, reaching an average daily population of 7,964. The most recent figures give some indication that the rate of change may be slowing down to some extent since this represents a year on year increase of 2 per cent, compared to the 6 per cent rise during 2008-09. However, it is as yet too early to tell whether this represents the beginning of a longer term levelling out of the prison population.
3. The recent slowing down of the rate of increase is primarily driven by a notable drop in the size of the remand population over the past year. However, this is offset to some degree by the more modest but sustained increase in the direct sentenced population.