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Prisons: Overcrowding

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (1) what discussions her Department has had with the Prison Service on the possibility of easing prison overcrowding by transferring prisoners serving sentences in closed prisons to (a) open prisons and (b) Ford Open Prison; (144590)

(2) what plans there are to relieve overcrowding in closed prisons by transferring prisoners to (a) open prisons and (b) Ford Open Prison.

The Prison Service has already implemented measures designed to maximise the use of the whole prison estate. This includes the transfer of prisoners sentenced to less than 12 months in custody to an open prison (including to HMP Ford) for the final 56 days of their sentence. Each individual is subject to a streamlined risk assessment in order to determine whether they are suitable for transfer.