The number of people in Scotland’s prisons has risen to more than 8,000.
There were 8178 inmates on an average day in 2011-2012, an increase of four percent on the previous year.
This is despite the country’s prisons network being designed to hold only 7840 people on an average day.
The gender breakdown saw men increase by four percent to 7710 and women by eight percent to 468.
The figures, released by the Scottish Government’s Chief Statistician, indicated numbers will increase in the coming years.
Official projections predict that the annual average of prisoners will reach 8300 by 2012-2013 and 9500 by 2020-2021.
The total sentenced population has increased by three percent. The rise over the last 12 months has been attributed to an 11% increase in adult remand inmates and a four percent climb in adult direct-sentenced prisoners.
There are also five percent more life prisoners and three percent more recalled inmates.
However, over the same period, the young offender population dropped by eight percent to 556 daily.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "These figures confirm what we already know: that without action, the prison population will continue to grow.
"We are clear that prison remains the only place for locking up serious and dangerous criminals and keeping them off our streets but we can't keep packing more and more low-level offenders into our jails and giving them free bed and board."
The Scottish Government is spending record levels on prisons to ease overcrowding, he said.
Earlier this week Mr MacAskill announced that the Scottish Prison Service is to find alternatives to replace Cornton Vale, Scotland's only women's prison.
Closure was recommended in a report on female offending, published in April. Inspection reports have revealed overcrowding and other poor conditions at the jail.