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Volume 172: debated on Tuesday 15 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria are used to determine whether a prisoner should be held on rule 43; and if he will make a statement.

Prison rule 43 provides that, where it appears desirable, for the maintenance of good order or discipline or in his own interests, that a prisoner should not associate with other prisoners, either generally or for particular purposes, the governor may arrange for the prisoner's removal from association accordingly. Segregation for more than three days requires authorisation by the board of visitors. Where a prisoner's segregation is requested or recommended for his own protection, the governor must satisfy himself that the prisoner is seriously at risk of assault by other prisoners and that his safety cannot be assured by other means. Where segregation for maintenance of good order or discipline is considered, the governor must be satisfied, in the light of information available, that the prisoner's continued association with other prisoners poses a threat to the efficient running and control of the prison. The governor may arrange at his discretion for a prisoner to resume association with other prisoners, and must do so if in any case the medical officer so advises on medical grounds.