To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Government will reply to the fourth report of the Select Committee on Home Affairs on contract provision of prisons, published on 6 May 1987, HC 291.
I have today written to my hon. Friend setting out the Government's response to the report. I have mentioned in particular my intentions, which I announced to the House on 30 March, at columns 1083–85, as part of the measures I am taking to deal with the current and projected growth of the prison population, to invite the private sector to make proposals for the faster provision of urban remand facilities and open prisons; to publish a Green Paper and set up a consultancy on the scope for involving the private sector in all aspects of the remand system; and to examine the possibility of the private sector providing and managing secure bail hostels. I am arranging for a copy of my letter to be placed in the Library.