Dear Mark


Thank you for your recent review of the Ministry of Justice’s Prison Population Projections and for confirming the publication’s ongoing compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. The due diligence you provide forms the foundation of our work to continuously maintain and improve the standards of the National Statistics publication.

With regards to the potential developments and improvements your work has highlighted, we accept the potential value of the improvements suggested and will ensure that these are incorporated into our projections development program. In particular:

  • We fully accept the need to ensure users are regularly consulted so that the information provided in the publication meets their needs. This activity takes place at regular intervals with internal stakeholders, which includes policy and operational colleagues, who provide robust challenge on the input assumptions based on their knowledge of the business. We are now looking to expand this to the external community through a series of planned engagement events.
  • We acknowledge the value in providing further context with regards to specific sub-populations of interest. Whilst projections for the female and juvenile populations as specified are already provided in our statistical tables, we will look to provide a greater narrative to draw out key implications of this data in future publications. Over the coming year we will be working to improve the methodology for projecting the juvenile population, which will allow for greater contextual information to be included in the projection documentation.

In addition to the above, we continue to develop our technical approach and methodology, to increase the strength of the underlying analytical models used in the projection. As this work is undertaken we will be ensuring as a matter of course that technical guidance information is provided, including continued transparency in relation to the basis for, and impact of, assumptions used.

I would like to thank you and your team again for the valuable assurance provided, and look forward to working with you in the future to enhance the statistics and perception of the statistics we produce. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further detail with regards to the response provided.

Yours sincerely

John Marais
Deputy Director for Justice Statistics
Chief Statistician and Head of Profession for Statistics


Related Links:

Letter from Mark Pont, March 2019