Lags got a record £19.7million in compensation claims out of taxpayers last year.
The settlements, paid to prisoners who sued over their treatment in jail, is almost double the £10.3million paid in 2017/18.
And it is a whopping five times the £3.5million in settlements only nine years ago.
Well over half the cash, £13.2million, was paid to 1,718 inmates for injuries. The biggest single injury settlement cost the Ministry of Justice £241,433.
Prisoners can sue for slips or falls and if they are assaulted by guards and other cons, sparking fears that fights have been staged to lodge phoney claims.
In 2018/19, 53 cases of prisoner-on-prisoner violence led to payouts totalling £453,000.
Another £117,000 was paid to 10 prisoners who claimed they were assaulted by staff.
In addition, there were 3,076 claims for a total of £219,199 involving lost property and 263 totalling £134,510 for damaged possessions. Another £1.8million was paid to the families of prisoners who died.
Sam Packer of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Criminals are cashing in on failings in the prisons regime to claim cash. Compensation culture means taxpayers are being left on the hook.”
The MoJ said it won two-thirds of cases and tried to ensure cash went to helping prisoners’ victims.