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In the wake of rioting in London and elsewhere across the country, England's prison system is nearing operational capacity. A total of 86,654 people are now behind bars, the Associated Press reports, with just 1,500 spaces left unused. Over the past week, English prisons have taken on a net gain of 700 people; 1,300 have appeared in court for riot-related charges. The prison population is rising at a rate of more than 100 people a day, the BBC reports.
The government has faced criticism that judges are handing down overly harsh sentences for rioters -- like two men who received four years in jail for trying to start a riot with Facebook posts. Another woman was sentenced to five months in jail for wearing shorts her roommate allegedly looted. This week's prison population total marks an all-time high, Agence France Presse
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is the former politics editor for The Wire