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Prisoners (Photographing)

Volume 886: debated on Monday 17 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the details of the code of practice laid down for filming and photographing prisoners in Her Majesty's prisons; and whether that code was observed when a Thames Television Unit visited Nottingham Prison recently.

The code of practice under which the Home Office has for some years provided facilities for the media to obtain material relating to prisons, including the filming and photographing of prisoners, requires that advance warning of any filming should be given to inmates who are likely to be in the vicinity of the cameras, and that those who wish to withdraw from range should be allowed to do so. Other provisions are that no inmate may be named in the ensuing presentation; that any interviews should be at the discretion of the governor and with the prisoner's own consent. Personal cases and affairs may not be discussed.Interviews with members of the prison staff may also be provided, again with the consent of the person concerned and with the approval of the governor, about factual aspects of the work and of the establishment but not about individual prisoners.The visit to Nottingham Prison by the Thames Television Unit took place in September 1974 as part of wider facilities sought for a programme transmitted in December. The visit took place over two days and the conditions of the code were strictly observed.