asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to the annual report for 1979 of the board of visitors of Winson Green prison, Birmingham; what steps he is taking to introduce alternative treatment for prison inmates with drink or drugs problems, and the mentally disturbed; if he is satisfied with the conditions for such prisoners at Winson Green prison; and if he will make a statement.
I have received, and am considering, the report. Treatment for prisoners at Winson Green prison who request medical help with drink or drug problems, or who are mentally disordered, is provided by the four full-time medical officers, of whom three are psychiatrically qualified, and by visiting psychiatrists. For prisoners with a drink problem there is also an active Alcoholics Anoymous group. Although I am not satisfied with the physical conditions at Winson Green for such prisoners, the staff do their best in difficult circumstances.