asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons investigation of Pucklechurch remand centre, completed on 6 August 1982, was not published until 27 June 1985; and if he will make a statement.
This report was received in April 1984. It was one of a substantial backlog of inspection reports which had built up because of other pressing work—in particular, the Maze inquiry—and staffing difficulties in the Prisons Inspectorate during 1982 and 1983, when only five reports were received, and which were subsequently submitted to my right hon. and learned Friend during 1984, when 23 were received. Because of the increased number of reports requiring consideration, the interval between receipt and publication has been longer than we would have wished. Urgent steps are being taken by the Prison Department to clear the backlog.