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Prisons: Coroners

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent by his Department on legal representation and advice on each coroner’s case into a death in prison service establishments (including secure training centres) in each of the last four years. (193411)

Inquests into deaths in prison custody are inquisitorial fact-finding processes, heard by a Coroner with a jury. The information is not available in the requested format but HM Prison Service’s legal costs since April 2004 are as provided in the following table. They include the costs of the Treasury Solicitor, Counsels’ fees and other disbursements. Comparable legal costs in respect of secure training centres are mostly incurred by the private companies that run the centres.

Prison service inquest costs

£

2004-05

901,000

2005-06

1,547,000

2006-07

1,670,000

2007-08

1,962,000

Total

6,080.000