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Category C Prisons

Volume 984: debated on Thursday 8 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department which four category C prisons are under consideration for an extension of the removal of restrictions on the contents of letters; and what reasons are advanced by the Prison Officers Association for opposition to this removal.

As an experiment it was decided to relax the censorship of prisoners' letters at Channings Wood, Haverigg, Highpoint and Ranby prisons. Although the Prison Officers Association acquiesced in the experiment, the local branches withheld co-operation and their National Executive Committee have stated they will not press their members to participate in the experiment. Opposition has been based on the belief that in category C prisons censorship helps to maintain control and is in the interests of prisoners' welfare.