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Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

24. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have been transferred between prison establishments in the last 12 months. (95442)

69,636 prison to prison transfers were recorded by the inter-prison transfer contractor between August 2005 and July 2006.

The number of prison to prison transfers arranged locally by prisons is not recorded centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with the social exclusion task force on the impact of Prison Service order 6300 on prisoners who are carers and on their children. (95432)

The findings of the Social Exclusion Unit Report ‘Reducing re-offending by ex prisoners', published in 2002, were taken into account in the development of the new policy. No discussion with them has taken place since.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison places there were in each of the last four quarters in England and Wales. (92889)

The usable operational capacity of the prison estate for the last four quarters in the year is:


Usable operational capacity

30 December 2005


31 March 2006


30 June 2006


29 September 2006


The useable operational capacity of the estate is the sum of all establishments' operational capacity less the operating margin of 1,700 places. The operating margin reflects the constraints imposed by the need to provide separate accommodation for different classes of prisoner, i.e. by sex, age, security category, conviction status, single cell risk assessment and also due to geographical distribution.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much space was available and designated for the practice of (a) Church of England, (b) Roman Catholic, (c) non-conformist Christian, (d) Hindu, (e) Muslim and (f) Sikh faith at each prison establishment in (i) 1997 and (ii) the last year for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. (94590)

[holding answer 18 October 2006]: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Prisons are required to provide suitable places of worship and meditation for all faiths that acknowledge the religious, cultural and symbolic requirements of each faith tradition. How this is done in individual prisons will depend very much on local circumstances.