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Prisoner Information Points

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the (a) deployment, (b) availability and (c) use of prisoner information points; which prison establishments have such facilities; what plans he has to extend availability in each prison; how much has been spent in each prison establishment on prisoner information points; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure public protection through these facilities. (73747)

In 2004, British Telecommunications plc was awarded a contract to construct and install prisoner information points. HM Prison Service has assisted BT in developing the product, but has no obligation to purchase any terminals. It is therefore left to individual establishments to decide whether they wish to purchase the PIPs. The eastern region of the Legal Services Commission has purchased 14 terminals to serve prisons in the east midlands area, as part of their resettlement agenda. In exchange, HMPS has provided facilities for LSC to present local information on the PIPs in these prisons, which are based on the seven resettlement pathways. Currently there are orders for a total of 22 PIPs based in 17 establishments. The information on the terminals is based on the 21 Prison Service Standards which directly affect prisoners’ day- to-day life. The terminals are a stand-alone system and do not permit prisoner access to the internet.