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.


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 relevant publication for more details.

Random mandatory drug testing (traditional drugs)
Year Random mandatory drug testing (traditional drugs)
2019-20 10.5%
2018-19 10.4%
2017-18 10.9%
2016-17 9.3%
2015-16 7.8%
2014-15 7.0%
2013-14 7.5%
2012-13 7.2%
2011-12 7.0%
2010-11 7.1%
2009-10 7.8%
2008-09 7.7%
2007-08 9.1%
2006-07 8.8%
2005-06 10.3%
2004-05 11.8%
2003-04 12.3%
2002-03 11.4%
2001-02 11.4%
2000-01 12.0%
1999-00 14.4%
1998-99 18.1%

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"

Random mandatory drug testing - new psychoactive substances only
Year Random mandatory drug testing - new psychoactive substances only
2019-20 4.3%
2018-19 9.0%
2017-18 12.9%

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.
Average prisoners working in prisons
Year Average prisoners working in prisons
2019-20 12,500
2018-19 12,100
2017-18 12,300
2016-17 11,300
2015-16 11,000
2014-15 10,500

Apr 2019 to Mar 2020 12,500


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 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.
Prisoner hours worked in industry
Year Prisoner hours worked in industry
2019-20 17.4
2018-19 17.1
2017-18 17.2
2016-17 16.0
2015-16 16.0
2014-15 15.1
2013-14 13.9
2012-13 12.7

Apr 2019 to Mar 2020 17.4


An independent assessment by HMIP of the level to which prisoners are treated with respect for their human dignity.

HMIP inspections are undertaken about once every three years. The data presented here shows the most recent assessment for each prison establishment.

HMIP respect inspection detail

2019-20

HMIP respect inspection
HMIP respect inspection Count
4 - good 26
3 - reasonably good 61
2 - not sufficiently good 25
1 - poor 2

An independent assessment by HMIP of the level to which prisoners are able, and expected, to engage in activity that is likely to benefit them.

HMIP inspections are undertaken about once every three years. The data presented here shows the most recent assessment for each prison establishment.

HMIP purposeful activity inspection detail

2019-20

HMIP purposeful activity inspection
HMIP purposeful activity inspection Count
4 - good 17
3 - reasonably good 41
2 - not sufficiently good 42
1 - poor 18

The MQPL survey of prisoners' perceptions is a validated way of gauging the quality of Decency and Safety, which are vital business aims but difficult to define and measure by other means.

Questionnaire scores are made more meaningful by comparing them to what might typically be expected from prisons of a similar type, but the comparison should not be judged at face value without reference to the specific context of the prison in question.

The MQPL survey is undertaken as a part of a rolling three-year programme. The data presented here shows the most recent assessment for each prison establishment.

The summary percentage is based on audits published internally by HMPPS. The annual prison performance ratings publication includes audits which had not been published when it was released and were therefore suppressed from the data tables. Including these suppressed scores, the overall percentage of prisons scoring a 3 or 4 is 79.5%

MQPL decency audit detail

2019-20

MQPL decency audit
MQPL decency audit Count
Rating 4 8
Rating 3 82
Rating 2 18
Rating 1 6