1. ITV Report

Liverpool prison "most overcrowded" in England and Wales

HMP Kennet in Liverpool is the most overcrowded prison in England and Wales. Photo: Martin Rickett, Press Association Images

The most overcrowded prison in England and Wales is HMP Kennet in Liverpool, new official figures have revealed.

According to an analysis of prison population statistics by the Prison Reform Trust nearly two thirds of prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded, with the worst being the Liverpool prison.

The HMP Kennet is designed to hold 175 men but it now holds 337.

In second place is Shrewsbury (built to hold 170 men, it holds 326) and third is Swansea (built for 240, it holds 436). HMP Preston in Lancashire sits at number nine on the list (built for 455, it holds 712).

The Trust has also revealed there are 7,294 more people in the system than it is designed and built to hold.

It said 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.

"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."

– Juliet Lyon, director of the Trust

"We are aiming to reduce the existence of crowding alongside reducing the cost of the prison estate."

– A Prison Service spokeswoman

The 10 most overcrowded prisons in England and Wales:

  • HMP Kennet in Liverpool, Merseyside (Built to hold 175, it holds 337)
  • Shrewsbury, Shropshire (Built for 170, it holds 326)
  • Swansea, South Wales (Built for 240, it holds 436)
  • Leicester, Leicestershire (Built for 200, it holds 342)
  • Exeter, Devon (Built for 317, it holds 530)
  • Dorchester, Dorset (Built for 148, it holds 242)
  • Wandsworth, London (Built for 730, it holds 1,191)
  • Northallerton, North Yorkshire (Built for 146, it holds 232)
  • Preston, Lancashire (Built for 455, it holds 712)
  • Doncaster (South Yorkshire) (Built for 743, it holds 1,142)