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Prisons (Overcrowding)

Volume 640: debated on Monday 15 May 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has given to magistrates regarding the present overcrowding in prisons; and if he will consider using redundant Army, Navy and Air Force establishments as open prisons for selected short-term prisoners.

Information about overcrowding is included in the Prison Commissioners' annual reports, the booklet Prisons and Borstals, and the White Paper on Penal Practice in a Changing Society, and has been regularly given at the Annual Conference of members of Visiting Committees and Boards of Visitors held by the Magistrates' Association. Redundant Service premises are regularly notified to and inspected by the Prison Commissioners, who have already taken ten into use for various purposes. Nine other Service premises or sites are in process of conversion or development and three more are under consideration.