Compensation payments to prisoners in England and Wales almost doubled last year to more than £3 million, official figures have revealed.
The figure includes £1.6 million paid out in 12 cases of medical negligence which were settled in 2009/10 and more than £530,000 paid to victims of assaults by prison staff.
In 2008/09 a total of £1,669,312 was paid out, but in 2009/10 payments totalled £3,286,521.
Figures released by the Ministry of Justice in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association show that last year £1,609,250 was paid out in medical negligence cases and £534,628 was paid out in compensation for assaults by staff.
Also, £259,943 was paid out for unlawful detention, the data showed.
The figures reveal that in the last five years £13,069,631 was paid out in compensation to prisoners.
The highest single payout since 2005/06 was £2.8 million for a personal injury claim, with the second biggest payment £1.14 million for medical negligence.