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.

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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 HM Prison and Probation Service annual digest


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"

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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 HM Prison and Probation Service annual digest


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.

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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 HM Prison and Probation Service annual digest


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.

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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 HM Prison and Probation Service annual digest


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.

Data source: Prison performance ratings

2019-20

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

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.

Data source: Prison performance ratings

2019-20

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

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%

Data source: Prison performance ratings

2019-20

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