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Young Offender Institutions

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the redesignation of HM Prison/Young Offender Institution (HMP/YOI) Drake Hall and HM Prison Morton Hall will have on (a) the distance from home, (b) resettlement programmes, (c) community links and (d) re-offending rates of those female prisoners held in (i) HMP/YOI Drake Hall who have been assessed as suitable for semi-open conditions, (ii) HM Prison Morton Hall who have been assessed as suitable for semi-open conditions, (iii) closed conditions in the female estate and (iv) open conditions in the female estate; and if he will make a statement. (258088)

The re-designation of HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Drake Hall and HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Morton Hall as closed prisons will allow the Prison Service to more properly provide for the needs of women suitable for each of the prisons. The effect of the change will allow for greater flexibility in the use of the estate; improving closeness to home and families for some women, allowing appropriate lifer and indeterminate sentenced women to be placed so as to better meet their needs, and in general enable more women to access the resettlement regimes available at the two prisons. There are no plans to move any of the women out of Drake Hall and Morton Hall as a result of the change. The change is essentially an administrative one, both establishments will retain their current levels of internal and perimeter security and their current resettlement regimes, including their roles as specialist foreign national centres. Women suitable for “open” or “closed” conditions will be able to go these prisons if such a move meets their resettlement needs.

The changes are compatible with Baroness Corston’s recommendation.