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Remand Centres

Volume 978: debated on Friday 15 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to provide a new remand centre in North-West England; and if he will make a statement.

There are no such plans at present but I am reviewing the current prison building programme in the light of the May committee's recommendations.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted young persons, male and female, are serving the whole or part of their sentence in Risley remand centre.

On 31 January 1980 there were 18 young persons—15 males, 3 females—serving sentences of imprisonment in Risley remand centre. In addition there were 27 young persons—24 males, 3 females—sentenced to borstal training who were awaiting allocation to a training borstal.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions he has had with the Risley branch of the Prison Officers Association and other appropriate trades unions about reducing on a permanent basis the number of males aged 17 years and over remanded to Risley remand centre;(2) which courts, which at present remand males over 17 years to Risley remand centre, he intends to instruct to send their remand cases to prison establishments other than Risley; and to which establishments such cases will be sent.

One option for affording permanent relief to Risley remand centre is the transfer of responsibility for serving the Greater Manchester courts from Risley to Manchester prison. This is being discussed with the Risley and Manchester branches of the Prison Officers Association and other staff associations affected will also be consulted. The stage of considering directions to courts has not been reached.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what will be the reduction in staff, prison officers and auxiliaries, arising from his decision to reduce on a permanent basis the number of males aged 17 years and over remanded to Risley remand centre.

It is too early yet to say what the effect of a reduction in the male population at Risley remand centre would have on the complement for prison officers and prison auxiliaries. The planning of measures needed to achieve a reduction in population are still in progress. Discussions with the Prison Officers Association involving possible redeployment of prison officer grades are continuing.