THE number of women and girls in prison around the world has soared by 53 per cent since the year 2000, researchers have found.
More than 714,000 females are behind bars, according to the Institute for Criminal Policy Research at Birkbeck, University of London.
Of these, 3,974 are in England and Wales, and 360 are in Scotland.
During the same period of time, the number of male prisoners has risen by 20 per cent.
Roy Walmsley, director of the world prison brief at Birkbeck, said policy-makers in all countries “should consider whether it is really necessary to hold so many women and girls in custody.”