Guernsey prison sees 30% fall in prisoner number

A 30% fall has been recorded in the number of prisoners being held at Guernsey Prison.

Prison governor Dave Matthews said the numbers had fallen from about 130 to about 90, which was "as low as he could remember".

Two years ago there were serious concerns that it could reach capacity due to an increasing prison population.

Installing bunk beds and forcing prisoners to share cells were among the ideas mooted.

Mr Matthews said the fall in numbers had happened for several reasons.

These included an increase in community service or other alternatives to prison; a fall in the number of offences being committed; and a drop in re-offending rates.

More than 50 of the inmates are from Guernsey, with more than 20 from the UK and the rest from across Europe. The majority are serving sentences for drug-related, violent or sexual crimes.

Eleven prisoners jailed by Guernsey's courts are currently being held in UK prisons, 10 having been repatriated, and one is maintained by the island.

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