Prisons data

Reform

To reform offenders, we need to be sure they are being given the right services and opportunities across the different areas we know support rehabilitation and help prevent a return to crime.

These include improving prisoners’ mental health and tackling substance misuse, improving prisoners' progress in English and maths and increasing the numbers of offenders in employment and accommodation after release.

Audits and inspections are reported on a 4-point scale, from 1 (lowest rating) to 4 (highest rating).

Visit prisons and probation statistics for data sources and more details.


Random mandatory drug testing (traditional drugs)

The percentage of random mandatory drug tests which show drugs to be present, hence a downward trend is positive. This measure excludes tests for new psychoactive substances.

The values for 2018/19 onwards are calculated using a new weighted methodology - please refer to the HMPPS Annual Digest 2018 to 2019 for more details.

Period Random mandatory drug testing (traditional drugs)
Apr 1998 to Mar 1999 18.1 %
Apr 1999 to Mar 2000 14.4 %
Apr 2000 to Mar 2001 12.0 %
Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 11.4 %
Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 11.4 %
Apr 2003 to Mar 2004 12.3 %
Apr 2004 to Mar 2005 11.8 %
Apr 2005 to Mar 2006 10.3 %
Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 8.8 %
Apr 2007 to Mar 2008 9.1 %
Apr 2008 to Mar 2009 7.7 %
Apr 2009 to Mar 2010 7.8 %
Apr 2010 to Mar 2011 7.1 %
Apr 2011 to Mar 2012 7.0 %
Apr 2012 to Mar 2013 7.2 %
Apr 2013 to Mar 2014 7.5 %
Apr 2014 to Mar 2015 7.0 %
Apr 2015 to Mar 2016 7.8 %
Apr 2016 to Mar 2017 9.3 %
Apr 2017 to Mar 2018 10.9 %
Apr 2018 to Mar 2019 10.4 %
Apr 2019 to Mar 2020 10.5 %

Apr 2019 to Mar 2020

10.5 %

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the HM Prison and Probation Service annual digest publication.

Publication date

Published: 27 July 2023.


Random mandatory drug testing - new psychoactive substances only

The percentage of random mandatory drug tests which show drugs to be present, hence a downward trend is positive. This measure includes tests for new psychoactive substances ("NPS"), as defined in the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.

Note this measure replaces "random mandatory drug testing including new psychoactive substances".

Period Random mandatory drug testing - new psychoactive substances only
Apr 2017 to Mar 2018 12.9 %
Apr 2018 to Mar 2019 9.0 %
Apr 2019 to Mar 2020 4.3 %

Apr 2019 to Mar 2020

4.3 %

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the HM Prison and Probation Service annual digest publication.

Publication date

Published: 27 July 2023.


Prisoners completing treatment free from dependence

The percentage of adults exiting treatment free from dependence on drugs or alcohol.

Period Prisoners completing treatment free from dependence
Apr 2015 - Mar 2016 22.9%
Apr 2016 - Mar 2017 27.0%
Apr 2017 - Mar 2018 29.7%
Apr 2018 - Mar 2019 27.2%
Apr 2019 - Mar 2020 26.3%
Apr 2020 - Mar 2021 32.5%

Apr 2020 - Mar 2021

32.5%

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Alcohol and drug treatment statistics: prisons and secure settings (annual) publication.

Publication date

Published: 27 January 2022.


Average prisoners working in prisons

The average number of prisoners working in public sector and privately managed prisons.

The Government remains committed to the ambition to increase work in prisons and to have more prisoners working and working longer hours in an "employment-like" atmosphere. The aim of this is:

  • to ensure that prisoners are occupied in purposeful activity whilst in establishments;
  • to give offenders the opportunity to learn new skills and experience and support finding employment on release.
Period Average prisoners working in prisons
Apr 2014 to Mar 2015 10,500
Apr 2015 to Mar 2016 11,000
Apr 2016 to Mar 2017 11,300
Apr 2017 to Mar 2018 12,300
Apr 2018 to Mar 2019 12,100
Apr 2019 to Mar 2020 12,500

Apr 2019 to Mar 2020

12,500

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the HM Prison and Probation Service annual digest publication.

Publication date

Published: 27 July 2023.


Prisoner hours worked in industry

The number of prisoner work hours (millions) in public sector and privately managed prisons.

The Government remains committed to the ambition to increase work in prisons and to have more prisoners working and working longer hours in an "employment-like" atmosphere. The aim of this is:

  • to ensure that prisoners occupied in purposeful activity whilst in establishments;
  • to give offenders the opportunity to learn new skills and experience and support finding employment on release.
Period Prisoner hours worked in industry
Apr 2012 to Mar 2013 12.7
Apr 2013 to Mar 2014 13.9
Apr 2014 to Mar 2015 15.1
Apr 2015 to Mar 2016 16.0
Apr 2016 to Mar 2017 16.0
Apr 2017 to Mar 2018 17.2
Apr 2018 to Mar 2019 17.1
Apr 2019 to Mar 2020 17.4

Apr 2019 to Mar 2020

17.4

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the HM Prison and Probation Service annual digest publication.

Publication date

Published: 27 July 2023.