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Sentencing and imprisonment in Wales: 2018 factfile

Jones, Robert 2019. Sentencing and imprisonment in Wales: 2018 factfile. Justice and Jurisdiction, Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University. Available at:

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Following the publication of Imprisonment in Wales and Sentencing and Immediate Custody in Wales, this report provides an up-to-date account of imprisonment and sentencing in Wales. Using data published by the Ministry of Justice as well as information obtained via the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this factfile identifies a number of important issues and themes. Some of the key findings are outlined below. • The number of Welsh prisoners fell by 2.2% in 2018. In total, there were 106 fewer Welsh people in prison in 2018 than the previous year. • Wales continued to record a higher rate of imprisonment than England in 2018. There were 150 Welsh prisoners per 100,000 people in 2018 compared to a rate of 137 English prisoners per 100,000 of the population. • The number of people held in the Welsh prison estate increased in 2018. This rise is due to a 116% increase in the number of prisoners at HMP Berwyn. • In 2018, the average number of Welsh women in prison reached its highest level since the Wales Governance Centre began collecting Welsh-only data in 2013. • The percentage of those arriving into Welsh prisons as homeless increased in 2018. • The use of community sentences in Wales has fallen by 18% since 2015. • The rate of people under probation supervision has been higher in Wales than England since 2013. • There were two self-inflicted deaths recorded at Welsh prisons in 2018. • The Wales Governance Centre’s Imprisonment in Wales reported that incidents of self-harm in Welsh prisons had reached a record level in 2017.The number of self-harm incidents in Wales (excluding HMP Berwyn) rose by a further 16% in 2018. • The number of prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and assaults on prison staff in Wales decreased in 2018. • Despite holding just 2% of the total prison population in England and Wales, 9.3% of all prison disturbances were recorded at HMP Parc in 2018. • A record number of weapon, drug, and alcohol finds were made in Welsh prisons in the year ending March 2019. • Drug finds in Wales (excluding HMP Berwyn) increased by 61% in the year ending March 2019. • The proportion of cases resulting in a conviction has been higher in Wales than in England in five of the last six years. Sentencing and Imprisonment in Wales: 2018 Briefing • The custody rate at the Magistrates’ Court in Wales was lower in 2018 than the previous year. The rate at the Crown Court increased in 2018. • The custody rate was higher in Wales than England at both the Magistrates’ and Crown Court in 2018. • There were 76 Black people from Wales in prison for every 10,000 in the population in 2018.This rate compared to just 15 White people per 10,000 of the population. There were 26 Asian people in prison per 10,000 and 40 people from a Mixed background per 10,000 in prison in 2018. • One in five (22%) of all women sentenced to immediate custody in Wales were handed sentences of one month or less in 2018. • A higher proportion of longer-term sentences (4 years or more) were handed out at courts in England (10.4%) than Wales (8.2%) in 2018. • The average custodial sentence length in Wales has increased from 13.3 months in 2013 to 14.5 months in 2018.

Item Type: Monograph (UNSPECIFIED)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Wales Governance Centre (WGCES)
Publisher: Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 March 2020
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 13:33

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