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Prison Department Lands

Volume 931: debated on Tuesday 10 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will investigate the profitable deployment of land within the perimeters of Her Majesty's prisons.

The use of land held by the Prison Department is kept under review. In recent years particular attention has been paid to increasing agricultural and horticultural production, in so far as this is consistent with the primary function of penal establishments. By taking into use land not required for other purposes and by improving management methods and production techniques, output has been considerably increased, and I expect it to continue to grow. Of the 7,196 hectares of land managed by the Department—which includes land occupied by prison buildings and staff quarters—3,507 are used for agricultural and horticultural production. In the financial year 1975–76 foodstuffs to the value of £1·5 million were produced for internal use, and commercial sales of produce and livestock realised £0·75 million.