MORE than one third of Welsh prison inmates, including more than 700 from Gwent, are in English prisons - some more than 200 miles away from their home, a study has revealed.

The report by Dr Robert Jones of Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre has revealed, of the 4,704 Welsh people in prison in June this year, 1,731 - 37 per cent - were in English prisons.

Some of these, in areas such as Yorkshire and East Anglia, are more than 200 miles away from home.

The study also revealed 1,324 of the 4,346 people in Wales' six prisons are from England.

As all Wales' six prisons are male-only, all the 261 Welsh women currently serving custodial sentences are in English prisons.

The study showed, of the 386 people from Newport currently in prison, 272 - 70 per cent - are in Welsh prisons.

The overwhelming majority of these are at HMP Parc in Bridgend and HMP Cardiff, with the remaining 114 spread across 48 prisons in England. The greatest number - 17 - are in HMP Eastwood Park, a women's prison in South Gloucestershire.

Meanwhile, about half the the 32 prisoners from Monmouthshire are in Welsh prisons and about 62 per cent of the 82 prison inmates from Torfaen are in Wales.

The majority of the 52 prisoners from Blaenau Gwent are in Welsh prisons, with around 15 in prison in England. Of the 152 prisoners from Caerphilly, around 100 are in Welsh prisons, and the remainder in England.

Of the 527 prisoners at Gwent's only prison, HMP Usk and Prescoed, 170, about one third, are from England.

In the report, Dr Jones said: "Because Welsh local authorities have a duty to support vulnerable groups (including prisoners) in their areas with services including housing, social care and healthcare, the report is designed to be a useful resource to help local authorities and third sector organisations better identify, target and deliver services to prisoners and prison leavers returning to Wales."

He added: "While decision making on where to locate people within the prison estate is often a complex and difficult task, this report provides a statistical evidence base to inform a far more critical debate on distances and dispersal in Wales.

"At a time when the UK Government continues to place faith in the ‘one size fits all’ model of the ‘super prison’, the data presented in this report further examines the use of the prison estate in Wales and explores the issues facing individuals involved or affected by the criminal justice system in Wales."

The report also found 853, or 77 per cent, of the 1,103 inmates in Wrexham's HMP Berwyn are from England. The prison has inmates from 125 of the 151 local authority areas - or 83 per cent - in England.