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Prisons: Children

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children were born in prisons in each prison in England and Wales in each year since 1997. (242069)

Women in prison have a right to the same medical provision as women in the community and do not give birth in prison as a matter of course.

The number of babies born to women committed to prison service custody since November 2006, when the Prison Service began collecting the relevant information centrally, are as follows:

Establishment

MBU places

2006-07

2007-08

2008-091

Askham Grange

10

0

3

1

Bronzefield

12

7

18

7

Cookham Wood

2

0

0

3n/a

Downview

2

2

0

0

Drake Hall

2

1

0

0

East Sutton Park

2

0

0

0

Eastwood Park

12

3

21

0

Foston Hall

2

0

2

1

Holloway

13

5

35

7

Low Newton

2

3

4

3

Morton Hall

2

0

0

0

New Hall

9

3

2

7

Peterborough

12

8

11

4

Send

2

0

0

0

Styal

7

5

6

4

Total

75

37

102

34

1 April to November 2008.

2 No Mother and Baby Unit at these establishments.

3 Changed function to male juvenile establishment in 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children were being held with their mothers in prisons in England and Wales on the latest date for which figures are available. (243263)

As of 30 November 2008 there were 50 children living with their mothers in a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) within a women’s prison. They may stay in an MBU until the age of up to 18 months (depending on the individual circumstances), although there is room for flexibility in the best interests of the child, which may mean a child staying in an MBU until two years of age. They are then gradually integrated into the care of approved family or carers in the community. This could include social services where no suitable carer exists.