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Prisoners

Volume 889: debated on Wednesday 9 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will amend the Prison Rules so as to enable a prisoner charged under Rule 52 to have the right to be legally represented.

This is one of the matters within the terms of reference of the departmental working party which is reviewing adjudication procedures in Prison Department establishments. We expect to receive its report shortly.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he considers it necessary under Prison Rule 33(3) to provide that a governor should have the discretion to stop any letter or communication to a prisoner on the ground that its contents are objectionable or that it is of inordinate length.

Governors are required to act with a view to securing discipline and good order, the prevention of crime and the sound administration of prisons.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list in the Official Report the advice or suggestions he has received, in the last year for which figures are available, from visitors' committees or boards of visitors under Prison Rule 97.

Both in their annual reports and on other occasions throughout the year boards of visitors draw our attention to matters with which they think we should be concerned. It would not be practicable to list these in detail.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the arrangements for prisoners to have visitors; and if he will make a statement on the operation of the system.

Unconvicted prisoners are allowed daily visits. Convicted prisoners are entitled to one visit every 28 days. Special attention has been given to improving arrangements for convicted prisoners, and the majority of prisons now offer more than the statutory minimum allowance. Shortage of staff and accommodation restricts improvements at other prisons. Further improvements will be made as resources become available.