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Prisoners: Pay

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 16 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the average weekly rate of unemployment pay paid in each prison in England and Wales was in 2008; (288192)

(2) what the standard rate of weekly prisoner pay for each job or other purposeful activity was in each prison in England and Wales in 2008.

The information requested is not centrally available and could be collated only by manual checking with individual establishments, which would incur disproportionate cost. However, Prison Service Order 4460 (Prisoners’ Pay), a copy of which has been placed in the House Library, sets out minimum rates of prisoner pay which includes allowance levels for unemployment and for work (enabling prisoners to obtain life skills), education and other duties or activities. The PSO sets a minimum unemployed rate of £2.50 per week and an employed rate of pay of £4.00 per week. However Governors have devolved authority to set rates of pay for their particular establishment and these will reflect the particular regime priorities of their establishment.