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Prisons

Volume 895: debated on Thursday 17 July 1975

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22.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many control units have been built in prisons since 1973; and if he has plans further to extend the scheme.

There is one control unit at Wakefield and there are no plans for any more.

35.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now close the control unit at Wakefield Prison.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to a Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley) on 14th July.—[Vol. 895, c. 315.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated cost of the prison workshop building programmes at Norwich and Rochester; when are the estimated dates of completion; and whether any inmate labour has been used in any of these schemes.

The reinstatement of a laundry damaged by fire at Norwich prison and the construction of a new laundry at Rochester borstal are shortly to commence at an estimated cost of £20,000 and £100,000, respectively, and should be completed during 1976. Inmate labour will be used on both of these schemes.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated cost of the projected prison workshop building at Channings Wood, Newton Abbot; and if inmate labour will be used in the construction of the building.

The permanent buildings for prison industries at Channings Wood are still in process of design and costings are not yet available. Prisoners will be employed on the construction as far as practicable, but the technical nature of the work is likely to require much of it to be put to contract.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has had from the psychiatric profession and the prison service itself concerning the introduction of prisoner control units.

There have been no representations from the psychiatric profession. Representations from within the prison service have concentrated on the need for a central facility to relieve individual prisons from time to time of the burden of persistently disruptive prisoners.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what monitoring of control units has been carried out; and if he will publish the results.

The one unit in operation at Wakefield is being monitored, on normal management principles, by the governor, the medical officer, the regional director and Prison Department headquarters. The Board of Visitors also exercises general oversight. Additionally, the psychology department at Wakefield Prison is collecting information with a view to assessing the characteristics, behaviour, and response of the very few prisoners involved, before, during and after their stay in the unit. All this information will be taken into account in the review which I announced on 14th July in response to a Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley).—[Vol. 895. c. 315.]