To clear things up, here is the Prison Service's definition of Certified Normal Accommodation:
Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA), or uncrowded capacity, is the Prison Service’s own measure of accommodation. CNA represents the good, decent standard of accommodation that the Service aspires to provide all prisoners. CNA at present is 72,110.
You see, all the government has done is crammed two prisoners into cells designed for one, or three into cells suitable for two. The following is taken from Hansard written answers for the 27th March 2008:
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners were (a) doubling up in cells designed for one and (b) trebling up in cells designed for two on the latest date for which figures are available.When the government quote capacity figures of 82,205, they are actually quoting is the Useable Operational Capacity which is the operational capacity less 1700 places. The Operational Capacity of a prison is the total number of prisoners that an establishment can hold taking into account control, security and the proper operation of the planned regime. It is determined by area managers on the basis of operational judgement and experience. In other words it is the limit of operational capability, not the recommended level (CNA).
Maria Eagle: At the end of February, 19,382 prisoners were reported as being doubled in cells certified to hold one person and 1,207 prisoners were reported as being trebled in cells certified to hold two people.
Brian Caton, General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association said;
“The problems of overcrowding are not new; and the problems we face today are as a direct result of the lack of real investment for new prisons over the last 10 years. “If things continue as they are we will see more and more unsuitable and dangerous prisoners released early and public safety will be at risk.