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Volume 927: debated on Monday 7 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report the guidance given to governors of prisons on how Rules 43 and 45 made under Section 47 to the Prison Act 1952 are to be administered.

A copy of the Prison Standing Orders containing guidance to prison governors on the administration of Rules 43 and 45 is in the Library of the House. There are also detailed administrative directives which it would not he appropriate to publish.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were serving fixed longterm sentences of 14 years or more in each of the last 10 years.

The following table gives such information as is readily available.

Persons serving determinate sentences of over 14 years on 30th June
Information for earlier years is not available.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many life prisoners were held in prisons in each year since the death penalty was abolished; and what was the average length of time served in each year.

The numbers of prisoners serving sentences of life imprisonment in prisons in England and Wales on 31st December in each year since 1965 and the average time served by those released during each of those years were as follows:

Average time served by those released during the year
YearNumber of life sentence prisoners in prison on 31st DecemberYearsMonths
The figures include persons detained during Her Majesty's pleasure under Section 53(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or for life under Section 53(2) of that Act but not persons who had been previously released on licence and subsequently recalled to prison. The average times served provide no indication of the time likely to be served by any individual prisoner since the figures do not show the range of sentences served—which have varied from six months in one case to over 20 years in others.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were prescribed Largactil in the last year for which figures are available.

I regret that this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.