In detail: Prisons in the UK
Prisoners' sentences

More than 17,000 prisoners were sentenced for violent crimes - the biggest group in jails in England and Wales.

A further 10,000 were found guilty of drugs offences and about 8,500 of burglary.

In August 2006, about 7,600 prisoners were serving life or indeterminate sentences - up 27% in a year. But more than half of prisoners serve less than six months.

About one in five prisoners is being held on remand.

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