Jail numbers at new high

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THE number of prisoners in Scotland has hit a record high, despite crime being at its lowest level for 37 years.

According to official figures, the annual daily average prison population has risen to 8178, increasing to an estimated 9500 over the next decade.

Since 2007, the Scottish Government has pursued a policy of increasing non-custodial sentences to cut reoffending.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “These figures confirm what we already know, that without action the prison population will continue to grow.”