Wandsworth Prison one of most overcrowded in country
9:00am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
Wandsworth Prison is among the most overcrowded jails in the country, according to a new report.
The Prison Reform Trust, who compiled the data, say nearly two thirds of prisons in England and Wales are operating at an overcrowded level.
But Wandsworth Prison, in Heathfield Road, is currently at 163 per cent of its capacity with 1,191 prisoners living in a space designed for just 730 - meaning the jail is the seventh worst in this respect.
Juliet Lyon, director of the Trust, said: "Building our way out of the overcrowding problem is not the answer. Court ordered community sentences are more effective, by eight percentage points, at reducing one-year proven reoffending rates than custodial sentences of less than 12 months for similar offences.
"Rather than falling back on short, ineffective spells behind bars, investment in more intensive community sentences and public health solutions would cut crime and save the taxpayer money."
Nationwide, there are 7,294 more people in the system than it is designed and built to hold, according to an analysis of prison population statistics by the Prison Reform Trust.
Although the growth in the prison population has slowed down in recent months, there were 77 out of 131 establishments over the Prison Service's Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA) as of July 27, the Trust said.
The most overcrowded prison in England and Wales, according to the figures, is HMP Kennet in Liverpool - built to hold 175, it now holds 337 - which is 193.