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Prisoners (Maintenance Costs)

Volume 981: debated on Thursday 27 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will examine the means by which the annual cost of keeping a person in prison could be reduced, in real terms, while safeguarding the welfare of the prisoner.

We are looking closely at what the May committee has to say about strengthening financial management, but we do not think there is much scope for making economies. This is because some 80 per cent. of the net current costs goes on staff related expenditure which directly reflects the increasing size of the prison population. Of the remainder almost a half is spent on food and general supplies.