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Prisoners: Women

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many female prisoners gave birth whilst in prison and subsequently (a) requested and (b) requested and were refused a place in a mother and baby unit in each of the last five years. (249509)

The numbers of prisoners who have given birth while serving their custodial sentence since April 2005, when the Prison Service began collecting figures centrally, are as follows:

Number

April 2008-December 2008

75

April 2007-March 2008

102

April 2006-March 2007

99

April 2005-March 2006

106

From June 2007 (the earliest date for which information is currently available) until March 2008, 221 applications were made for places in a mother and baby unit, and 10 of these applications were refused; and from April 2008 until December 2008, 178 such applications were made and 14 were refused. There is no available breakdown of these figures to show whether the baby in each case was born before or after the mother was received into prison. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many female prisoners (a) applied for and (b) were refused a place in a mother and baby unit for a baby born before they were received into prison in each of the last five years. (249510)

While the National Offender Management Service keeps figures for the number of female prisoners who (a) applied for and (b) were refused a place in a mother and baby unit, there is no available breakdown of those figures to show whether the baby in each case was born before or after the mother was received into prison. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.