London:  Jails in England would run out of space if they continued to fill up at a fast pace as courts quickly processed hundreds of cases of rioting and looting, Prison Governors have warned.

The prison population in England has increased by more than 100 a day over the past week as courts processed cases of rioting and looting in London and other cities, they said.

They said total jail numbers were 86,608 in England and Wales, a rise of 677 in the six days up to Thursday.

The Prison Governors Association warned jails would run out of space if they continued to fill up at such a rate.

However, the organization said there was no immediate crisis, a media house reported.

The prison population normally decreases or remains stable in August because there are fewer court sittings and offenders sent to jail.

But this year because of the disorder in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other English cities, numbers are rising sharply. Demand for cells is particularly high in London, the report said.

It means the number of spare places in the system – about 1,200 in prisons and 200 in immigration removal centers – is declining.

Last week, the Ministry of Justice released figures showing the prison population had increased by 440 since the riots and was at a record high. It said it was "fairly confident" it could get the "headroom" it needed in prisons but that contingency plans were in place.

These included putting an extra bed in a two-person cell, so that three prisoners would have to share one cell. The Youth Justice Board said there was also "ample" spare capacity in secure children's homes and secure training centers which hold young offenders from the age of 10.

In view of the shortage, the Government may come under pressure to keep open two prisons that were due to close next month - Brockhill in Worcestershire and Latchmere House in south-west London, the report said.

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended courts for handing out "tough" sentences for those involved in the riots.

But some MPs and campaigners have said there have been examples of prison terms being too harsh.

On Tuesday, two men were jailed for four years for using Facebook to incite riots. Both are to appeal against the sentence.

Liberal Democratic peer and Howard League for Penal Reform president Lord Carlile said some decisions of the courts were "questionable".

(Agencies)