(2) how many complaints have been made in each of the last five years about the transportation of (a) pregnant and (b) mobility impaired prisoners; and what the nature was of each complaint;
(3) on how many occasions in each of the last five years (a) pregnant and (b) mobility impaired prisoners have not been assessed by prison operational managers and health care professionals prior to transportation; and if he will make a statement.
There is no requirement in the contracts for contractors to record separately the movement of pregnant and mobility impaired prisoners. Information on the transport of pregnant or mobility impaired prisoners in cellular vehicles is not recorded centrally.
There are a number of methods by which prisoners may make complaints. These are to prison staff at the establishment or to the senior operational manager as well as to Prison Service HQ. Complaints may also be made by prisoners under transport to the contractors. It has not proved possible to separate out complaints made by or about pregnant or mobility impaired prisoners from available records.
All prisoners should be assessed as being fit for travel by a health care professional before being transported. Guidance has been issued to all women’s prisons to remind them of correct assessment procedures and there is a strong presumption that pregnant prisoners should not travel in cellular vehicles. A similar presumption applies to the transport of mobility impaired prisoners.