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Fewer psychiatric beds linked to rise in prison numbers

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A 90 per cent decrease in the number of NHS psychiatric beds is linked to a trebling of the total prison population, new research has revealed.

The study found that between 1960 and 2019 the number of psychiatric beds reduced by 93 per cent. And over time, the prison population increased by 208 per cent, and the number of female prisoners more than quadrupled.

The research, from Newcastle University, is the first to analyse almost 60 years of annual data on NHS bed numbers and the prison population in England using time lag analysis.

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