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Caribbean: Prisons

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the adequacy of prison provision in UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean. (276806)

Each of the five Caribbean overseas territories (OTs) and Bermuda has at least one prison, with Bermuda and Cayman also having completely separate prisons for females. The majority of the prisons were built in the last 10-15 years (in most cases with Government assistance) to replace outdated facilities not fit for purpose. A senior manager, seconded from HM Prison Service, is based in the region to advise and support local officials on prison management and wider criminal justice issues. In addition, each prison has an independent and voluntary monitoring body working within it in order to monitor and report on conditions, and to raise any issues of concern.

The OT prison services are moving towards a focus on rehabilitation, with the recruitment of specialists to support that approach. With smaller prison and local populations, the early indicators are that these efforts are having more success than larger prison systems elsewhere are able to achieve.