In the Media

Ministers act over bursting prisons

PUBLISHED March 9, 2004

The prisons minister, Paul Goggins, yesterday announced emergency measures to squeeze a further 800 places out of the overcrowded jails of England and Wales as their population passed the 75,000 mark for the first time.

Ministers cut the safety buffer - the maximum number of places kept free to allow room for manoeuvre - by 300 and said they would accelerate the return of 500 cells undergoing refurbishment.