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Prison Population

Volume 986: debated on Monday 16 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what, in each case, would be the effect on the daily prison population of (a) repealing the offences of simple drunkenness, drunk and disorderly and drunk and incapable, (b) repealing the offence of soliciting, (c) repealing the offence of possessing cannabis, (d) repealing the sanction of imprisonment for maintenance default, (e) repealing the sanction of imprisonment for fine defaults, (f) repealing the sanction of imprisonment for a first offence on summary conviction, (g) granting 50 per cent. remission on all sentences of 18 months imprisonment or less, (h) granting 50 per cent. remission on all sentences and (i) removing all mentally ill prisoners to secure hospitals.

The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk) on 8 November 1979—[Vol. 974, c. 665·67]—and to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey, North-West (Mr. Grylls) on 15 May 1980—[Vol. 984, c. 644]. In addition, on 31 December 1979, 446 persons in prison department establishments in England and Wales were classified as suffering from mental disorder—that is, mental illness, subnormality, or psychopathic disorder.